Record Reviews

By John Berger,
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Friday, December 6, 1996

Pahoehoe smoothly romantic

Acoustical Realm: By Pahoehoe (Aloe Records)

CHARLES Recaido was a founding member of Summer when the original quartet inherited Toppe Ada Shoppe from Kalapana 20 years ago. His third recording project as part of Big Island-based Pahoehoe is reminiscent of the earlier group. Almost all the songs in "Acoustical Realm" are originals by Recaido or his Pahoehoe partner, Kevin Teves; mellow jazz-pop arrangements and smooth harmonies define the sound.

The final two songs on the disc touch heavier topics without marring the romantic ambiance or awkwardly changing styles.

Recaido's "Land Of The Free" addresses the economic and social problems caused by speculators and developers. It is followed by a beautiful rendition of "Ku'u Pua I Paoakalani" that subtly reaffirms that theme and displays the duo's depth and vocal talents as well.

Mary Tunta: By Frank DeLima (Pocholinga Productions) cassette

IT'S comic business as usual on Frank DeLima's new release. As the Pocho Prince serves up a fresh assortment of ethnic humor and song parodies, synthesizer specialist David Kauahikaua provides musical support with an occasional assist from guitarist Robert Nishida.

Los Del Rio and the Quad City DJs are among the acts in line for composers' royalties as DeLima recycles "Macarena" ("Mary Tunta"), "C'mon n' Ride It (The Train)" ("The Chicken Fight Song") and other familiar pop chart hits. (Patrick Downes and Tremaine Tamayose join DeLima in sharing credit as writers and lyricists).

The Eagles' "Hotel California" becomes an autobiographical account of the experiences of DeLima and friends at a Vegas hotel. Michael Jackson's 1972 ode to a rat ("Ben") is now an ode to Gov. Cayetano. HGEA members will love that one!

"Hammajang Christmas" should soon be as popular as his existent "Christmas Carol" (better known to most residents as "Filipino Christmas Song" ). It is the creative highlight of the collection, although "Hooray For Waikiki" is still a grand theme for DeLima's show at the Polynesian Palace - and includes sharply focused commentary on the visitor industry as well. "Tita" and the two versions of "Mary Tunta" also capture DeLima at his bright and happy best.

Ki Ho‘alu - Kaapana Style: By Lehua Kaapana Nash (Jus' Press Records)

LEHUA Kaapana Nash introduces herself with "Ki Ho'Alu - Kaapana Style," an album likely to make her an inspirational and role model for many future guitarists. Most prominent slack-key instrumentalists in recent years have been male - Nash shows that gender has nothing to do with it!

Producers Led Kaapana (her brother) and Gordon L. Helm Jr wisely resisted the temptation to lard on synthesizer string sections or other pollutants. The purity of Nash's performance will be treasured by slack-key fans; annotation by Nash and Helm adds further to appreciating the artist and her music.

This beautiful debut album belongs in any collection of contemporary slack-key recordings.

John Berger, who has covered the local entertainment scene since 1972, writes reviews of recordings produced by Hawaii artists. See the Star-Bulletin's Home Zone section on Fridays for the latest reviews.

See Record Reviews for some of John Berger's past reviews.

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