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Faldo's Toy

The genus of Faldo's Toy The influences of jazz, rock, funk, and latin, in the crucible of Oakland, California

When four musicians play together for long enough, their styles and playing techniques begin to merge in interesting ways. After years of playing in nightclubs and casual gigs covering jazz, pop, top 40, rock, soul, R&B, funk, and even a little metal, a very interesting nucleus began to form between Ray and Jerry Merrill, James Zeigler, and Chris Weinress.

Faldo's Toy began writing and rehearsing in 1995, and released it's first album "ICON" in 1997. The album is considered by many to be a classic, often compared to Steely Dan's "Gaucho." The influences are simply put together in a fresh, different way. Strong, sweeping melodies, driving grooves, and fearless transitions from the guttural to the pristine. Listening to "ICON" is like a 12-course, 5-star meal served during a downhill luge run.

The initial reaction to "ICON" from the music industry was rather predictable. New, unique music is difficult to classify, and so although a strong fan base and sales were forming almost immediately, Faldo's Toy was having difficulty getting noticed by the major labels. Families and turns in life gradually sent the band into a prolonged hiatus. Chris Weinress and James Zeigler started families, and Jerry Merrill moved to Los Angeles to pursue his production career.

A re-focusing of the group in 2002 led to the reality that Chris Weinress could not return to the group. Chris Galli was chosen to play bass, and almost at once, live performances began being offered. Even though the band had not been playing live, it seemed that "ICON" had been circulating and still growing the fan base.

Now, Faldo's Toy had become a phenomenon. Fueled by the renewed interest by fans, Faldo made it's way around the festival and live-music club circuits, winning new fans with every show. Sales of “ICON” remain steady to this day, nearly 9 years since it’s initial release, a testament to the power of Faldo’s music.

With the release of Faldo's Toy's new album, "Twisted Pea Soup," the band has not only solidified the influences in "ICON," it has focused them. The influence of smooth jazz is apparent with songs like "Simpatico" and "Katie," while the funkiness of "Mr. Potato Head" and "Hangtown Fry" shows off the Garibaldi/Prestia influence.

The fun, taunting attitude of the band is apparent in "Shorty"; and "Twisted Pea Soup" borders on the avant garde. "Tango Uniform" re-states the band's love for latin, while "Fire In The Hole" conjures images of Chick Corea's electric band drinking cases of Red Bull.

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