As a player, composer and student of Jazz for over 3 decades, I spend a lot of time on the piano. That’s the ultimate place to explode and explore harmony, live with your two hands. How much of that process could I bring to this small instrument with limited range, and only four strings? Incredibly, I found the mental process to be exactly the same. One obviously needs to prioritize and economize, but in another way I found myself more in control of the outcome with less options available. At the end of the recording process, I am happy with what I expressed musically. There’s always room to grow on this instrument though. I often ponder: What would Bill Evans have done on a ukulele?

"Detour" CD starts with the greatest of Jazz Trio formats in my opinion: bass, drums and...(choose: piano, guitar.... or ukulele?). That was the launching point, and the start of the recording day. The trio worked out splendidly, thanks to the musical prowess of Duncan Hopkins on bass, and Jeff Halischuk on drums. From there David Matheson joined in on piano, and we continued the journey into BeBop, Bossa, and a bit of Smooth Jazz. Later in the recording process other elements came in: Ross Wooldridge with clarinet, sax and some more piano, Don Thompson on vibes, and Selina Disera with such beautiful vocals to put the proverbial icing to the cake. 

This project is the opposite of “don’t try this at home”. Each of the ukuleles recorded come in under a $300 price tag. Any person really can explore any genre of music on ukulele, Popular or Classic, lighthearted or very serious - and you can do it pretty much anywhere. That’s what’s so incredible about this small and very common instrument. There really is no limit to the musical journey you can take on it, and how much you can get out of it, but more importantly how well it can convey and express a simple tune. Aside from one having to infer the bass, it paints a complete picture of a song, and within the physical confines of carry-on luggage.

I hope you enjoy listening to "Detour" as much as I enjoyed the creation of it!