View Full Version : Uke Ellington with a Graziano and a Compass Rose

Rick Turner
09-03-2014, 10:47 AM
"Peel me a Grape", (written by Dave Frishberg and popularized by Diana Krall) from Sandor's birthday party. For "uke content", "Uke Ellingto" is Sandor Nagyszalanczy on a Graziano baritone (this cut), me on my koa Compass Rose tenor; both with my D-TAR pickup systems taken direct. The wonderful Hannah Smalltree is singing (she's also a uke player), with Gary Cunningham, bass (again, one of my pickups); and Olaf Schippacasi on drums...for the first time with us, not even a rehearsal! I am really happy with how these instruments record direct with good (and yes, expensive relative to ukes) pickup systems. No EQs were harmed in the plugging in. More music from this gig will be posted.

You may have seen Sandor and his collection of ukes in Ukulele Magazine in a couple of recent issues. He's got about 430...no, I saw another "new" one about 10 days ago...OK, 431...and he pretty much runs the Santa Cruz Ukulele Club these days and was a founding member. If anyone deserves a lot of ukes, it's Sandor! Why? Because he plays them really well, too! And he's a real historian.


09-03-2014, 12:26 PM
Cool!!! Love the group's name as well.

09-03-2014, 12:31 PM
Really groovin!!!! They did the Duke proud!

09-03-2014, 12:42 PM
That was neat! I've never heard a group like that using Ukuleles instead of guitars. What a great sound!

I suppose even the String Bass could be considered a Ukulele of sorts! :)

Rick Turner
09-03-2014, 01:12 PM
That's not the most stretched song that we do using two ukes to fill out complex chord structures, but it gives you an idea of what we're trying to do. Musically, when we're playing extended chords, we're really using all eight strings to get the textures and emphases. For instance, if we're playing a plus 9 , sometimes just one of us will play that 9 so we don't hammer it too much, or if it's a full 9th chord, one of us may play the chord as a minor 7 and the other as a plus 9. So out of 8 strings, there will be one 7th and one 9th. It's really about arranging, and learning this stuff has been amazing. Wait 'til we post our "Midnight at the Oasis" for some wild chord building with two ukes, a bari and a tenor. Hannah knocks the vocals out of the park, too.

09-03-2014, 01:44 PM
There's more than one way to skin a cat!

Ukulele Eddie
09-03-2014, 02:42 PM
How fun! Really enjoyed that!

09-03-2014, 04:22 PM
Thanks for the link Rick. I really enjoyed that song. You all sound great together.

Do you all play together often? You should.


Rick Turner
09-03-2014, 05:48 PM
We don't play out enough! We'd love to get some festival gigs next summer, and we do a few local things here. We want to do a "Swing That Uke" night at Don Quixote's in Felton, CA this winter and do it as kind of a review with Ukulele Dick and Jayme Kelly Curtis (aka Mona Lott) and Dave Egan. Dress up, cocktails, elegance. Maybe even real candles on the tables! I'll have a Manhattan...

09-03-2014, 07:30 PM
Rick, the stand up bass is a great addition. Nice job. Hannah can come serenade me anytime! Hope to see you guys at UkeJAM By The Bay 2015!


Gary Gill
09-03-2014, 11:46 PM
That was wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

09-04-2014, 03:10 AM
Great job! The instrumentation produced a full on sound. Wonderful vocals as well. Thanks for posting. It was inspiring