Compilations of reggae, Beatles await your ears
By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor
Jawaiian, 'ukulele melodies, ki ho'alu CDs with distinct appeal are new in the record bins.
"Keep It Together"
- Artist: Typical Hawaiians (Bruce Zulueta, Taz Vegas, Thomson Enos).
- Label: Cinnamon Red Records CRR0021.
- Genre: Jawaiian, reggae.
- Distinguishing notes: With a cache of originals from the group members (with O-Shen collaborating on "Strange Love"), Typical Hawaiians are an atypical troupe leaders, not followers of the Jawaiian bandwagon. "One Thing," the opening track, is enough of a lure to keep you hooked through the bouncy journey; "Non-Stop" might be the buzz words for this trio.
- The outlook: Variety amid the reggae format because of the fresh compositions. For this reason, might interest those who aren't into Jawaiian.
- Our take: Fresh, pertinent and seductive stuff should help establish this group as something different.
|"Strange Love" by Typical Hawaiians. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.|
"Ohta-san Plays The Beatles"
- Artist: Herb "Ohta-san" Ohta.
- Label: MH Records MHCD 2221.
- Genre: Instrumental, world music.
- Distinguishing notes: Ohta-san continues to let his fingers do the talking; and the chatter here is nostalgic, easygoing, reflective. He interprets 19 classic Beatles giants, from "And I Love Her" to "Penny Lane," from "Yesterday" to "Imagine."
- The outlook: Ohta gets keyboard, bass, guitar, drum and occasional vocal support from a host of local musicians: Pierre Grill, Bruce Hamada, Jim Howard, Benjamin Doseo, Adam Baron and Ginai Johnston.
- Our take: With the Beatles so ingrained into our culture, this quiet and romantic take is ideal for background dinner music, moments of solitude, or wee-hour unwinding.
|"And I Love Her" by Ohta-san. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.|
- Artist: John Keawe.
- Label: Homestead Productions HPCD 1006.
- Genre: Ki ho'alu, instrumental; with a couple of vocal "extras."
- Distinguishing notes: Keawe is one of the masters of Hawaiian slack-key, and his precision in and perpetuation of the genre is nothing short of remarkable. The clean sound transports you back to an innocent, tranquil time.
- The outlook: There's a sweetness and caring to the menu here; some old, some new tunes, each rendered with quiet dignity and radiating charm.
- Our take: Keawe's music takes you to places you know and have loved or have visited only in your mind.
|"Radio Hula" by John Keawe. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.|