Friday, January 20, 2006

James Hill: That's "One Small Suite..." For a Uke

Drop everything and surf over to James Hill's website to watch his current video clip. In it, he plays the first movement of his "One Small Suite for 'Ukulele." You've no doubt heard the old story about the Hawaiians attaching the words "jumping flea" to what we now call the ukulele because of the Portuguese players' fingers jumping around on the instrument. I've always had difficulty matching that image up with the laidback style of early Hawaiian music. If the Portuguese sailors played anything like James, I think I now get the picture. Note how simple his right hand strums appear to be in comparison to the complexity of the melody coming from his effortless-looking fingerings. Link

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