Tell U What by Brittni Paiva CD review

Title: Tell U What
Artist: Brittni Paiva
Year: 2012


1. Tell U What
2. I Keep Forgettin’
3. Friends
4. A Taste Of Honey
5. Comin’ Home Baby
6. The Locks of Dread
7. Mira
8. Alive
9. Cold Duck Time
10. Pavane
11. Boogie Woogie Bossa Nova

How have I not known about Brittni Paiva till now? When I think of Hawaiian born ukulele masters, my first thought (and probably yours too) always goes straight to Jake Shimabukuro. Now I’ll be including Brittni in that thought. A native of Hilo, on the Big Island, Brittni is in her early 20’s and is already an award winning instrumentalist who doesn’t pigeonhole herself into any one genre.  Tell U What is her 5th album, which combines smooth jazz, latin beats and even some surprising Celtic bits and pieces.

This CD has 11 songs, with a running time of  around 43.8 minutes. Let’s go through each song.

Tell U What (5:06) – Most people would probably not know that Brittni is playing a ukulele. It sounds a lot like an acoustic guitar in this tune written by Brittni. I love this instrumental tune, which just happens to be the longest running song on the album at a little over 5 minutes. It has a really cool smooth jazz vibe that sticks in your brain even after the song ends. I found my foot tapping along with this one. Love Tom Scott on the sax too.

I Keep Forgettin’ (3:50) – Michael McDonald sings on this track and it seems like he’s featured more than Brittni. Everyone over 25-30 years old is most likely already familiar with this song. This rendition is nice. Nothing out of the ordinary except almost every time Michael sings “I keep forgettin” it sounds like he’s singing something that I can’t repeat here… ;o)

Friends (3:25) – Written by Brittni, this is a chill smooth jazz style instrumental tune. It clearly features the uke, which sounds more uke-like at the beginning when she is doing some chunking strums. It’s a relaxing, pleasing tune with some nice bongo style beats in the background.

A Taste Of Honey (4:28) – This one takes me back to when I was a kid and my Dad used to play his Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass ( records on Sunday afternoons. My ears focus more on the bongo style beats and trumpet solos than Brittni’s ukulele playing, but I still really enjoy it.

Note: Ha! My musical memory is pretty good. I just learned that this is a Herb Albert tune!

Comin’ Home Baby (3:22) – Take Brittni’s uke and pair it with Ray Parker Jr.’s electric guitar, a horn section and some sharp beats and you get Comin’ Home Baby. It’s a lively tune that continues to follow the smooth jazz theme of this CD.

The Locks of Dread (4:41) – Brittni gives us a taste of Reggae flavor with this instrumental tune. At least until she somehow wanders over to Ireland with some celtic passages. This Bela Fleck tune is kind of all over the place, but in a good way. There’s so much going on in this tune that I almost wish she could break it up into 2 tunes and flesh them out individually. But as is, it’s like a multi-vitamin tune. You get all kinds of goodness in one bite.

Mira (3:43) – This one has a Latin feel. I don’t know if it’s a samba, a mambo or a salsa, but it’s enjoyable with the bongo beats, trumpets and of course Brittni’s uke. It makes me want to get up and dance.

Alive (3:52) – This one is a slow tempo easy listening type tune that has Brittni playing high up on the scale (at least I think so). This tune written by her should have been titled Relax instead of Alive. Listening to it makes me feel all mellow and ready to go take a nap. I’m not saying it’s boring, it’s just very pleasant and relaxing.

Cold Duck Time (3:18) – An electric organ and a sax give this tune a cool vibe. Brittni’s super fast runs are very impressive.

Pavane (4:19) – This is another slow tempo sleepy tune that would make great background music for reading or a romantic dinner. Britnni’s almost classical guitar sounding solos make this tune a nice de-stresser.

Boogie Woogie Bossa Nova (3:55) – Brittni’s 5th CD ends with a cool jazzy vibe.

Britnni Paiva’s Tell U What is a very enjoyable CD to listen to over and over and over again. Her ukulele playing is perfect and I’ve yet to tire listening to any of the tunes. My personal favorites are The title song Tell U What, A Taste of Honey and Mira. If you’ve not discovered this ukulele playing godess yet, you need to visit her website, iTunes or Amazon and listen to the track excerpts. If you’re a fan of ukulele music (you wouldn’t be here reading this if you’re not…), I have a feeling you’ll be plunking down your cash for this album. Let me know if you enjoy it too.

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