Island Mele

By John Berger,
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Friday, January 9, 1998

Lively album celebrates RHB

Live at Kapi'olani Park: The Royal Hawaiian Band (Friends of the Royal Hawaiian Band)

THIS beautiful commemoration of the Royal Hawaiian Band's 160th anniversary opens with the national anthems of the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii and closes with "Aloha 'Oe."

In between are marches, European light classical pieces, Hawaiian standards, Broadway hits, and a hapa-haole segment by the Band Glee Club in which Bandmaster Aaron David Mahi plays bass.

Vocalists Cathy Foy, Nalani Olds, Gene Roland and Celeste Sagaran add diversity. Ed Michaelman presides as master of ceremonies and narrator.

Album sales supplement the band's limited budget.

Quiet Nights: Teresa Bright (Dolphin Hawaii)

NO local vocalist does "languid" better than Teresa Bright. This album is a career best.

The lightly seductive selections include originals by producer/arranger Chip Douglas, pop chart oldies, hapa-haole standards, and others from beyond the cultural boundaries of the United States.

The arrangements create a sense of unity without becoming repetitive; fresh and imaginative versions of "The More I See You," "Blue Hawaii" and "I Only Have Eyes For You" are especially notable.

The synthetic string effects and general sonic clutter that defines the small-time sound of far too many local recordings is conspicuously absent throughout.

And then there's Bright. The beauty of her voice is heightened by the unpretentious sophistication of her delivery. Each song seems more beautiful than the next. What a perfect portrait of the artist!

Ohana 'O Kaua'i Volume 2: Various artists (no label)

BUDDY Panoke on bass and Paul Togioka playing guitar/banjo are the principals in this anthology of instrumental performances by Kauai residents.

The other participants range from world-class masters Raymond Kane and Ken Emerson to artists little-known beyond Kauai.

The selections are equally diverse.

Informative liner notes add performance and composers' credits, and a synopsis of the history or significance of each song ("Volume 1" was evidently released without announcement beyond Kauai).

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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