Brothers Cazimero deliver an awards contender
By Wayne Harada
By Wayne Harada
"Destiny" by The Brothers Cazimero; Mountain Apple Co.
Two Robert gems are "Pauamalu," a place tune about restful thoughts of the sea, the birds, the blooms — all silently sleeping, with choral serenades; and "'Ikua," another mele about the beauty of blossoms and heavenly seas, with sister Kanoe Cazimero guest-singing.
Roland's "Moemoea" (with Keli'i Tau'a's words) and "Ka 'Imi Loa" (with lyrics by Snowbird Bento) are different as night and day, but with Hokule'a links. The former is tranquil and serene; the latter has bounce and verve, demanding a hula treatment.
Sure to be a rainy-day must-play on radio: "It's Raining, It's Pouring," "Rain Rain Go Away" and "Kawailehua'a'alakahonua," a medley of two English classics and Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett's signature, with Kanoe re-emerging vocally.
Over the past 30 years, The Caz also have demonstrated the ability to refine and retune that which is known and beloved; such is the case on "Na Ke Ano Ahiahi," the familiar and time-tested favorite with a nocturnal and nautical tale. "Waimanalo Blues" is Robert and Roland in pop-jazz gear, with guitar and bass treatments more contemporary than Hawaiian in spirit and motif. Maybe that's all part of their destiny: grow, stretch, explore, soar.
A lyric booklet, with translations, is a dandy extra, especially with up-to-date images of the brothers. They look happy, fulfilled, dignified — the gift of age has brought much enlightenment to their plate.
|Sample song: "No Ke Ano Ahiahi" by The Brothers Cazimero|
"Among My Hawaiian Souvenirs" by Genoa Keawe; HanaOla Records
The menu taps tunes that have lingered over generations, from the title tune to the closing "Aloha Oe," with a wondrous cachet in-between, including "E Mama E," "My Yellow Ginger Lei," "Maile Swing," and "Kalamaula." No, "Alika" had not yet been recorded at this time; "Kalamaula" is the "high" point here.
But duets with her son Gary Aiko (a teenager when he recorded these cuts) on "Beautiful Kahana," "Ke Kali Nei Au" and "Lei Aloha Lei Makamae" provide renewed joy and appreciation of her talent. You surely can envision those sparkling eyes, that wide smile along with the upper registers.
|Sample song: "Among My Hawaiian Souvenirs" by Genoa Keawe|
"Take Me Back to the Islands, Vol. 1" by various artists; Vizzun Entertainment
But producers need to at least provide the minimum nutrients these compilations require: brief bios on both the known and unknown. The roster here includes a " '50s Medley" by Pana'ewa, a peculiar "Ohh La La Pure Aloha" fusing Marty Dread with Hawaiian Homeboy with Bu Laia, but the intention is unclear. Leftovers? B-sides? Disposals?
The CD title (with "Indiana Jones"-inspired typography) implies that future volumes are forthcoming; if so, producers should spend time and dollars to upgrade the packaging to enhance the adventure of listening.
|Sample song: "Take me back" by PATI, Janoe, & HAWAIIAN SOL JAH|
Reach Wayne Harada at email@example.com.