Bob Brozman

Blue Hula Stomp

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There's little doubt that Bob Brozman's a virtuoso on all plucked string instruments, but his specialty is the National Resophonic guitar, and he can make that do anything, as he shows on this collection, which, like much of his work, has a decidedly Hawaiian lilt. The bulk of the material on Blue Hula Stomp dates from the 1920s and '30s, rejigged in his own idiosyncratic style, whether it's the unusual, bluesy "Do You Call That a Buddy?" or the lightning fast hula, "Hano Hano Hanalei." He's not just someone who can play with remarkable speed and precision, as he does on "Chili Blues," but also with moving expression, as on the 1916 "hesitation" waltz, "Paauau Waltz," a tune that demands a lot of the player, but which Brozman pulls off with moving panache. Perhaps the most unusual, however, is "Ukulele Spaghetti," played on a National ukulele, the kind of piece to make every guitarist -- and uke player -- pick his or her jaw up off the floor in complete awe. And when he really takes off on the title track, it becomes explosive, as Brozman handles wooden and National Hawaiian guitars, rhythm and duet guitars, wooden ukulele, saxophones, and a vocal. A work of genuine joy and complete genius.

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