Organ donation in song


POSTED: Friday, June 12, 2009

'The Greatest Gift of Love (The Organ Donor Song)'

David Kawika Crowley
(no label)

; David Kawika Crowley is remembered as one of the pioneers of the Big Island's recording industry and for singles by Ernie Cruz Sr. and Lyle K'ang released on his record label. Crowley has been visible in recent years for his activism in arguing that special needs of nicotine addicts should be accommodated in the same spirit extended to other special-needs groups. He steps forward in support of a more politically correct cause here.

Crowley conveys the importance of organ donorship with a simple but effective arrangement. The lyrics establish the parallel between leaving the gift of family heirloom to a loved one and leaving the “;gift of love”; of organ donation to someone who would die without it.

The CD single is available free of charge at www.thegreatestgiftoflove.com. For more information on organ donation, visit www.organdonorhawaii.com.

;» “The Greatest Gift of Love (The Organ Donor Song)”


RJ Kaneao

; The influence of George “;Fiji”; Veikoso can be heard throughout RJ Kaneao's third album.

It is found in the opening track, a powerful and dramatically produced number sung in an unidentified Oceanic language; Fiji has used similar material more than once to pay homage to his roots before getting into contemporary reggae-style material. The rich and soulful multilayered harmonies that flow through several later selections are reminiscent of Fiji as well.

The big man isn't credited as a guest vocalist this time—he was one of three celebrity guests on Kaneao's last album—but the soulful feel of the vocal arrangements reflects his legacy. Kaneao has learned well.

Kaneao is also a multitalented artist. With the exception of two songs—the Oceanic-language opener, “;Polynesian Interlude (Ie afi laua mu),”; and “;How Do I?”;—he wrote all the songs, played every instrument and sang all the vocals. Kaneao indulges in a bit of faux-Jamaican posing from time to time, but the overall quality of his work as a disciple of Jamaican music deserves respect. It also deserves play on Hawaii's island music radio stations.

Kaneao shows his R&B side with “;Back in My Arms,”; a well-crafted romantic “;slow jam”; near the midpoint of the project. He reveals even broader musical horizons with the final track, “;Ku'ulei Pikake Onaona,”; a beautiful new traditional-style Hawaiian song.


;» “Polynesian Interlude (le afi laua mu)”
;» “Ooh Now Girl!”
;» “Ku‘ulei Pikake Onaona”


(Roy Sakuma Productions)

; In the chronology of ukulele virtuosos, the list begins with Ernest Kaai, continues with the Ukulele Rascals (Eddie Kamae and Shoi Ikemi) and then reaches Herb “;Ohta-san”; Ohta.

Kaai and the Ukulele Rascals are easy to overlook; Kaai died more than 40 years ago, and the Ukulele Rascals never recorded. Ohta-san, on the other hand, has been recording consistently for more than 40 years and is easily the world's most prolific ukulele recording artist.

Although everything Ohta-san records is of importance to his fans, the single most noteworthy cut here is his new recording of “;Song for Anna,”; which he originally recorded in 1973. It's always interesting to see what artists will do when they revisit their work, and Ohta-san makes the return journey with Roy Sakuma, his old-time student and protege, playing in counterpoint.

Sakuma, who co-produced the album with his wife, Kathy, keeps things simple and uncluttered. Dean Taba plays bass on two selections; Nando Suan plays guitar on most of the others.

Ohta-san's command of the ukulele creates such beautiful music that using any additional musicians would be counterproductive.


;» “Song for Anna”
;» “America the Beautiful”
;» “Besame Mucho”