Na Leo's best offerings reprised on 'Love Is ...'
By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer
It's a week of compilations and re-issues:
- Romantic harmonies from Na Leo Pilimehana.
- Exquisite, early slack key stylings from Leonard Kwan.
- A montage of hip sounds that explore the aloha spirit.
"Love Is ... " by Na Leo (Na Leo Pilimehana Records)
- Genre: Adult contemporary.
- Distinguishing notes: Na Leo Nalani Choy, Lehua Kalima-Heine and Angela Morales has has made a career singing love songs. In a career that dates back to their high school days, the trio released 12 albums, each trumpeting a hit song or two, most garnering Na Hoku Hanohano Award recognition. With this compilation, the women provide harmonic, romantic favorites for re-inspection and re-enjoyment. "The Rest of Your Life," the Kalima-Heine biggie, is the best known, but there's fragile, introspective beauty in a handful of others, too, like "You Are Everything," "Simple as a Sunrise," "When I Think of You," and "Saving Forever." The last tune Kalima-Heine co-wrote with Daniel Ho.
- The outlook: With lyrics accompanying the liner notes, Na Leo does everything with style and finesse; no wonder their CDs always soar high and sell briskly.
- Our take: Na Leo is love ... Love Is Na Leo. Either way, the equation works, and you'd have to be a bona fide curmudgeon if you aren't intoxicated by the trio's romantic sounds.
|"The Rest of Your Life" by Na Leo. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.|
"The Legendary Raymond Kane: Old Style Slack Key" by Raymond Kane (HanaOla Records)
- Genre: Traditional Hawaiian slack key, some vocals.
- Distinguishing notes: Two classic Hawaiian albums, originally released on Tradewinds, have been remastered for early fans eager to reacquaint themselves with old favorite as well as a new generation of listeners about to discover a real pro. The 18 tracks are from "This Is Slack Key" and "Slack Key," the latter also showcasing another wizard, Leonard Kwan. As is the custom of HanaOla's repackaging, there's as much to read as there is to listen to valuable and historic notes on Kwan, his tunings, his achievements. Each title is readily explained so there's education along with the entertainment. "Pua Sardinia," "Na Hoa He'e Nalu," "Kila Kila O Haleakala: and "Moana Chimes" are especially contagious. If the ki ho'alu playing doesn't get to you, the vocals will.
- The outlook: Great time to replace those worn-out 33¡ rpm discs or cassettes. Margaret Williams originally produced the sessions; George Winston has retained the early glow with remarkable new clarity.
- Our take: A stroll down memory lane and to Nanakuli and one worth taking.
|"Pua Sardinia" by Raymond Kane. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.|
"Pure Aloha Volume 1" by various artists (Way Out West Enterprises).
- Genre: A compilation of Island rhythms; pop, Jawaiian and reggae prevail.
- Distinguishing notes: While the disc attempts to examine the flavors of aloha, the message that is delivered is: Jawaiian-Jamaican songs rule. Produced by "Radical Rob" Onekea, this is a lively snapshot of local faves on a rampage. Among the fare:"Ooh La La (Pure Aloha)" by Hawaiian Homeboy, Marty Dread, and get this Bu La'ia; B.E.T. figures on two cuts, "Aloha Piha (Pure Love)" and gets support on "Pure Aloha" from Hawaiian Homeboy, Javier, Kris D'Autremont and Sudden Rush; "What You Got On" is a mild-tempo chant/rap entry from Sudden Rush; "Kiss Me Love" by New Flavor could find favor. and Jerry "Pito" Javier does a lovely ballad, "Where Do I Go From Here," which is a change of pace and a bright spot on the CD.
- The outlook: A valid cruise through the mind-set of Hawai'i's emerging young talent, some at bat for the first time.
- Our take: Needs a breakout single to make it to home plate.
|"Ooh La La (Pure Aloha)" by Hawaiian Homeboy. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.|
Reach Wayne Harada at email@example.com, 525-8067 or fax 525-8055.