Island Mele

By John Berger,
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Friday, December 12, 1997

‘Journey’ unearths
new C & K sound

Journey Through the Years: Cecilio & Kapono (HanaOla/Sony)

MICHAEL Cord continues his Hawaiian Legends series with this anthology of highlights from Cecilio & Kapono's three Columbia albums: "Cecilio & Kapono" (1974), "Elua" (1975) and "The Night Music" (1977). All three have previously been rereleased on disc but this "best of" package includes three C&K originals Columbia never released as album tracks. "Searchin'" and "50-cents A Song" have the familiar C&K sound; "Harlequin" is unlike anything on their Columbia albums. This album adds a new facet to their discography.

Lei of Dreams: Various (Neos Productions)

FRANK Diehl and Yemun Chung share credit for this Christian music anthology. The singers are a mixed bag of pros, amateurs and karaoke bar regulars who won a KAIM contest. Diehl wrote songs for five of them. Others wrote their own.

Several songs are expository statements delivered over simple musical arrangements. An excess of synthetic strings and similar artificialities make some much less than they could be. Justin's "Lei of Dreams" isn't really a Christian song.

Malia Rosa's " Jesus, What A Wonderful Name" certainly is. Rosa and arranger Ronnie Esteban work closest to traditional gospel music and demonstrate that contemporary Christian music can be powerful when sung with feeling in a strong arrangement.

Singer-songwriter Kim Char Meredith adds soulful emotion with "Anchor of Hope." Todd Adamski, Karen Canesco and Liann Collazo are also notable, but Neva Supe's "When I Pray" needs an English translation in the liner notes. The Lord understands all languages; without translation most listeners won't understand Supe's testimony.

Whee-Ha!: Keao (Mountain Apple Company)

KEAO Costa sings beautifully these songs by some of this century's greatest Hawaiian songwriters. The arrangements are delightfully traditional. All that's missing are lyrics and translations, or at least a synopsis of the meaning and significance of each song. Producer Tony Conjugacion gives those who don't speak Hawaiian no clue as to what Keao is singing about so beautifully.

See Record Reviews for some of John Berger's past reviews.
See Aloha Worldwide for locals living away.

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.

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