Tropical Swing

Tropical Swing

by Bill Tapia


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Tropical Swing

Coming back off of a 50-year run of jazz guitar, Bill Tapia dusted off his ukulele in 2002, at the age of 94, to play some old-timey music. Meeting up with Californian revivalists the Essential Resophonics, he put together a new album, loaded heavily with pieces from his time as a sideman for the likes of Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby, but with a few pieces closer to his days doing USO shows in the early '20s and accompanying Sol Ho'opi'i. Playing as long -- or longer -- than Lionel Hampton, Tapia is missing some of his old speed, but that's really to be expected. To counter this, the band plays some softer, more tender pieces of classic jazz that allow Tapia to stretch out on melody instead of showing off his old chops. The man hasn't always been the best-known player out there, but he's always been out there. He's got staying power to the extreme, and his abilities here show why. As an added treat, there are a couple of old recordings from 1936 where one can hear his old speed and prowess. For those looking to hear some old-style ukulele playing, this album isn't a bad place to start. Probably not the last word in the genre, but a fine piece of work nonetheless.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/02/2004
UPC: 0693213409427
catalogNumber: 40942

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