"Kapena Collection Vol. 3"
This third anthology from the popular band appears to be as much about the future of the De Lima family as it is about the group that Kelly "Kelly Boy" De Lima founded with Teimoni and Tivaini Tatofi in 1984. It opens with three new recordings by De Lima and his three children. His son Kapena plays most of the instruments and also engineered the sessions in his home recording studio. Kapena and his sister Kalena make their debut as a vocal duo on "Sixteen," an odd but still commercially viable Jawaiian love song.
The impression that this is a family project is heightened by the fact that the performance credits reveal that Kelly De Lima recorded five of the older selections with studio musicians rather than with the Tatofi brothers or the other members of the group. (It isn't mentioned in the liner notes, but Tiva Tatofi retired in 2001 and was replaced by Kainoa Delo.)
Give Kelly Boy credit for choosing a diverse selection of songs. A majority of them, new as well as old, reflect his band's place as one of the longest-running Jawaiian acts around. He also, however, includes a few songs that provide glimpses of the group's greater range. "Gin Gan Goolie/The More We Get Together" taps the Polynesian heritage of the Tatofi brothers, "I Cross My Heart" displays Kelly Boy's affection for soft pop remakes and "Tropical Lady" is an impressive demonstration of his talent as a songwriter.
Misaki Kawachi makes her debut with an assist from her vocal teacher Roslyn Catracchia and Catracchia's longtime musical partner David Kauahikaua. Catracchia and Kauahikaua produced the album for release on Catracchia's record label, and Kauahikaua did the arrangements, the instrumental tracks and the engineering. The duo has been working together for years, and although Kawachi is only 14, the album has a polished contemporary pop sound throughout.
A majority of the songs have Christian themes. "Child of the Father" contains the strongest Christian testament. Several others, including two written by Catracchia, are somewhat less sectarian although still clearly spiritual in content.
Kawachi shows her promise as a pop artist with "I Won't Last a Day Without You," a 1974 hit for the Carpenters, and with "Reflection," the hit from the Disney animated movie "Mulan." The appealing "Yakusoku (Promise)" is a nod to her Japanese heritage.
"The Best of Martin Denny's Exotica"
This new retrospective on Denny's legacy as the originator of exotica contains two things of interest to serious fans and students of his work: The liner notes were written by his daughter Christina, and the final track consists of a previously unreleased monologue in which Denny discusses his music. An undated biography, dating from sometime after the release of his fifth album, provides additional information.
Denny's music is as beautiful and imaginative as ever, but compiler Frank Collura should have included at least a few words on why he chose these 18 songs as the supposed best of Denny's tremendous catalog. The breakout hit "Quiet Village" belongs in any overview of Denny's work, of course, but the significance of the others isn't explained.
It would also have been a good idea to include the date, or at least the year, of the interview. (Denny fans will notice that it dates from sometime before he and wife June moved into their condo.)
, who has covered the local entertainment scene since 1972, writes reviews of recordings produced by Hawaii artists. See the Star-Bulletin's Today section on Fridays for the latest reviews. Reach John Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org