On and off, Pete Moss has been playing the ukulele for a mere 45 years. Clearly then, this collection of laid back instrumental standards is going to be rather good!
My objective was to create a companion CD that wasn’t too intrusive
I think that self proclaimed description doesn’t really do this CD justice. Agreed, it is the sort of sound that you can listen to over and over whilst going about your business but I would encourage a deeper concentrated indulgence to appreciate just how exceptional the uke playing on this album truly is. In other words, get your headphones out!
The recording quality is exceptional with a gentle crispness to the delightful ukulele timbre. Pete uses Living Water strings which add a lovely punch to his concert and tenor sound backed with oodles of sustain, perfect for his melodic style. And it’s that style that really sets this album apart as something pretty special. No matter how many notes are wrapped around the core melody, the tune constantly sings, pitch perfect and brimming with feel infused by gentle tempo and volume variation. It glides above the accompaniment effortlessly and is quite simply an utter delight to listen to.
A little accompaniment is included on bass, I believe all performed by Pete, with a light dusting of strings and percussion all of which are perfect examples of the principal that less is more. One is put in mind of Lyle Ritz’s “No Frills” and that’s not a compliment I give lightly as I am a great fan of that particular album.
To be honest, it would be a little churlish of me to single out any particular tunes in this review as they are all simply excellent. You can expect to hear Autumn Leaves, Raindrops Keep Falling Our My Head, Georgia On My Mind and The Shadow Of Your Smile to name a few but for me they flow so beautifully from one song to the next that it’s the overall album itself that grabs my attention again and again. I’m on the 5th run through of the day while I’m writing this.
As you can surmise, I adore this album. It’s a real keeper and I will be listening to it for years to come. If you’ve ever tried to incorporate a melody into your playing I thoroughly recommend listening to this album as a masterclass of how it should be done. It’s gentle, tasteful, clever, expressive and a downright joy to listen to. Pete is an outstanding talent.
If you want to treat yourself to a copy of this fabulous CD or check out everything else Pete is up to then head over to the Pete Moss website. There are also videos aplenty available on YouTube. Oh, and just to be clear, this Pete Moss is in no way affiliated with the contentious United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra… that’s a different fella altogether!