CD Reviews: Jake Shimabukuro and Troy Fernandez


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Jake Shimabukuro

Live

(Hitchhike Records)

In the right hands (Jake Shimabukuro’s, say), an ukulele can do amazing things. One thing it can’t do, however, is make “Thriller” sound even a little bit menacing. We’re not saying that’s a bad thing; Jake’s peppy Jackson cover is a crowd-pleasing highlight in this collection of live performances. You’ve heard many of these songs before: “Dragon,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”—but every song reinforces the notion that the stage is where this phenom shines the brightest.


 

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Troy Fernandez

Ride Time

(Mountain Apple Co.)

 

On this latest effort, Troy Fernandez tries to recapture the magic of his Kaau Crater Boys days, pairing up with Keao Low from local Motown revue Touch of Gold to create a familiar-sounding mix of ukulele-heavy Island pop. So familiar, in fact, that it’s hard to resist comparing Ride Time to classic Kaau albums … and then putting on Tropical Hawaiian Day. When it comes to solo Fernandez, we’d recommend Hawaiian Style Ukulele, his scorching 2005 instrumental album.






 

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