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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 26, 2001

Island Sounds
Jungle Juice's reggae tracks all originals by band members

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

"JUNGLE JUICE" by Jungle Juice,
Onipa'a Records, ORCD 002

Jungle Juice is a mixed plate band; that is to say, its reggae groove is hitched to members from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Lead singer T is a Samoa-born, Hawai'i-bred soulmeister; his fellow performers are Tony and Michael Jackson (yes!), guitarist and keyboarder, respectively, who hail from Micronesia; Derek White, drummer, who is African American; Chris Akamu, bassist, who is Hawaiian; and Mark Paguyo, percussionist, who is of Filipino heritage. Most are products of local schools (St. Louis, Damien, Waipahu).

Immersed in the reggae and Jawaiian realm, Jungle Juice has already connected with its "Super Star Styles" track, but other tidbits such as "Belligerent" and "Searchin'" have potential to expand the group's following.

All tunes are originals from the pen of Tony Jackson and Akamu, with other members also credited.

Hear an audio clip of "Super Star Style" by Jungle Juice, available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

"BACK FOR SECONDS" by Pound 4 Pound,
Onipa'a Records, ORCD 002

These Moloka'i music-makers follow up their self-titled debut CD with more Hawaiian-style reggae, with occasional pauses on soul and country.

Jack Stone, Alika Lani, John Pele, Raymond Hiro, Shane Dudoit and Dani Reyes have a keen ear for restructuring their music. The eclectic menu includes a handful of established hits, reconditioned in Pound 4 Pound style. Result: Listenable, danceable charming rediscoveries.

Examine the brooding "Daddy's Home," the high-flying "Kung Fu Fightin'," the countrified "Tomorrow Never Comes," the toe-tapping "Make You Stay." Ounce 4 ounce, there's a lot to like.

Hear an audio clip of "Daddy's Home" by Pound 4 Pound, available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

"NA MELE O PU'UWAI" by Liann Iaea-Collazo,
Kaleimele Productions KPH 001

Liann Iaea-Collazo is proof positive that dreams can come true. She won a Brown Bags to Stardom slot, doing an album with many others; she wound up winning a "Hawai'i Stars" segment and emerged a grand champion.

A worship leader at the Way of Salvation Church and music director for the Youth Fellowship Organization, she shares her love for songs and the 'aina with this gentle, occasionally inspirational, collection that reflects her adoration of Hawaiian music. She sweetens her sound with multiple-track vocals.

Best bets: "Morning Dew," "Kanaka Waiwai," "He Aloha Ko Iesu," "Kawailele 'O Nu'uanu." Sure, you've heard other versions before, but Iaea-Collazo's delicate soprano somehow makes her renderings exhilarating.

Hear an audio clip of "Morning Dew" by Liann Iaea-Collazo, available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.