Celebrity recording presents cavalcade of emotional tunes
|From left: "One Day," by Aaron Aranita and Eastbound, Sugartown Records, SR 2001
"Music for Two," by Pierre Grill and Ernie Provencher, RendezVous Records, RVR 057CD"
"In a Land Called Hanalei," by Doug and Sandy McMaster, Aloha Plenty, AP 2001
By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor
"One Day" by Aaron Aranita and Eastbound: Aaron Aranita, a jazz saxophonist and composer, has assembled 14 originals for this, his second CD. Some of the state's top singers and musicians guest-star.
Aranita, who plays tenor, alto and soprano sax, as well as flute and keyboards, creates a palette of different emotions. Some entries are vocals, others are instrumentals as the pendulum swings from Hawai'i to, of all places, Littleton, Colo.
The title song, a vocal by Kaila Novicki (a pseudonym for Gail Mack), calls for hope and healing after the senseless killings at Columbine High School. "Love is the key to unlock the way to paradise," the song says, all within a sensual jazz framework.
Novicki also brings warmth and grace to "The Face of Love," which offers good advice: Listen to your heart.
"Ele'ele," about the little Kaua'i town, is an occasion for reflection ("stories to share," "country ways," "good fun days"), with Vergel Jepas of Chant providing vocals.
Teresa Bright brings her luminous voice to "Tell Me Why? (Lady Di)," a song of unrequited love and internal emptiness, and Harve Thompson's "I'll Say Goodbye" is a bluesy break-up ditty. Sadness never sounded so convincing.
And Ace Thompson sings a tribute to Brazilian favorite Antonio Carlos Jobim on "Antonio."
Instrumentals include a brooding "Urbanity" with sax appeal, and a smoky "Toninho," featuring keyboards, flute and a slightly Latin flavor.
Among the notable players: Robert Shinoda, DeShannon Higa, Abe Lagrimas, Miles Jackson, Carlinhos De Oliveira, and Rogerio Araujo.
|"The Face of Love" by Aaron Aranita & Eastbound. An audio sample is available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.|
"Music for Two," by Pierre Grill and Ernie Provencher: Pianist Pierre Grill and bassist Ernie Provencher collaborate on a joyful session that moves from jazz to pop and a little soul.
The session was recorded without rehearsal, in one take, to tap the spontaneity and the give-and-take of a live performance. BYO applause.
The selections serve the duo well, eliciting colorful and confident performances.
It's more about artistry than commerce as they swim through a sea of instrumentals, some with jazz origins ("A Night in Tunisia," "Cantaloupe Island," "Equinox"), one with soul roots ("Mercy, Mercy, Mercy"), a couple with blues-pop foundations ("There Will Never Be Another You," "What Is This Thing Called Love?").
A kinder, gentler combo would be hard to find.
|"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" by Pierre Grill & Ernie Provencher. An audio sample is available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.|
"In a Land Called Hanalei," by Doug and Sandy McMaster: Taking poetic liberties, slack-key guitarists Doug and Sandy McMaster title their CD from a reworked line from "Puff the Magic Dragon," the beguiling folk and children's favorite, which is one of the premier cuts here.
The CD pays homage to Kaua'i's north shore, where, indeed, Puff might have frolicked by the bay.
"Hawai'i Aloha" is also among the "known" titles, but otherwise, this collection is a tranquil, eloquent portrait of Hanalei-style livelihood and expressions: "Kumu La'au" and "Butterfly" deal with the grace of a monarch butterfly between two ironwood trees; "Menehune Moonrise" envisions a menehune chattering as a moon rises; "Big Dipper's Hokulele" blends sky images with that of menehune fishponds; "River Full of Flowers" deals with hau tree blossoms swimming in the Hanalei River.
It's all relaxing, reflective stuff, performed in slack-key duets.
|"Puff the Magic Dragon" by Doug & Sandy McMaster. An audio sample is available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.|