Pryor's 'Malanai' a welcome return
By Wayne Harada
By Wayne Harada
"Home Malanai" by Leokane Pryor & Friends; Mountain Apple Co.
There are originals alongside memory-stained favorites, but the bottom line is the spirit of yesterday, with backyard combo-backing informality. "Haleakala Hula," a treasure from Alice Namakelua, is revived with sweet frivolity, creating visions of hula vamps. "Ke Ho'olono Nei" is a subdued change of pace, with peaceful treks through forests as a focus; it's a classic-to-be co-composed by Suzanne Case (The Nature Conservancy of Hawai'i director, who did lyrics) and Pryor (melody).
A hapa-haole medley blends "Honolulu I'm Coming Back Again" with "Kaimana Hila," with Lee-Ann Paman, Pryor and CJ Helekahi sharing lead vocals and leading a trip down memory lane.
Many more treasures abound, if you listen and revisit and let it all flow. A splendid liner booklet provides lyrics, translations, images — reflecting dedication and pride. One of the year's best.
|Sample song: "Hana no ka 'Oi" by Leokane Pryor|
"Take My Hand " by Kristian Lei; Women of Our World
She possesses a voice to reckon with; the title song, her own composition, demonstrates her spiritual commitment and the need to lend, and take, a hand for comfort and renewal.
Mihana Souza's "Heaven" and "Let Me Be of Love" are suited for Lei's tone and temperament of the CD. Souza also guest-performs on Irmgard Aluli's "For a Peaceful World," with English and Hawaiian lyrics.
Even the obvious "The Lord's Prayer" is a blessing for the ears and the soul.
|Sample song: "Take My Hand" by Kristian Lei|
"Lefty Lucea" by Paul Hanna; Follow No Trend Records
The tunes reflect his life experiences with the simple and the basics; the CD plays like a live show, with one vignette leading to another in a carefree spirit. There's a bit of sameness; but there's something here awaiting polish, like a diamond in the rough.
Further, the titles don't necessarily link to the melody. Let's just say there's no reason "Whistle Me" or "When Summer Is Over" or "You" are so titled, but the ride is peaceful and comforting.
|Sample song: "Rainbow Soloman" by Paul Hanna|
Reach Wayne Harada at email@example.com.