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.