Peterson's solo album delivers


POSTED: Friday, November 20, 2009

'Maui On My Mind'

Jeff Peterson
(Peterson Productions

; Soft-spoken Maui-born guitarist Jeff Peterson has gone from success to success since his early precedent-setting recordings with shakuhachi (Japanese flute) master Riley Lee. His career milestones to date include two recent Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and contributing a slack key track to a compilation album that won a Grammy for producer Charles Michael Brotman.

While contributing a song on a compilation album doesn't make him a Grammy Award winner—when a compilation wins, the award goes to the producer and not the artists—this new release certainly could do the trick.

A ki ho'alu arrangement of “;In The Mood”; is the big surprise, and it fits in beautifully as an instantly familiar tune placed in a fresh context. Peterson's interpretation of Neil Young's “;Harvest Moon”; also displays his vision as an arranger. Either could catch the ear of the Grammy voters.

Most of the other songs are originals. With them, Peterson draws on his formal training in other musical genres to skillfully blend the Hawaiian and the non-Hawaiian in ways that bring slack key forward while honoring its traditions as well.


;» ”;Maui On My Mind”;
;» ”;Paniolo Soul”;
;» ”;In The Mood”;

'Tom Moffatt: 50 Years of Music in Hawaii—The Legacy 1'

Various Artists

; Uncle Tom Moffatt has been shaping the history of contemporary entertainment in Hawaii as a radio disk jockey, concert promoter and record producer since the mid-1950s. His biggest single accomplishment in terms of overall impact here was founding the original “;K-POI”; radio station shortly before statehood in 1959, hence the timing and the title of this 21-song anthology of recordings released since then.

Some have direct connections to him. Others do not.

Among those that do is “;Honolulu City Lights.”; Keola and Kapono Beamer recorded it for Moffatt's Paradise Records label in 1978; the song and its namesake album won six Hoku Awards the following year. The Kasuals, Danny Couch, Loyal Garner, Hui Ohana and Ledward Kaapana have also recorded for one of his labels at some point in their careers.

“;1900 Yesterday”; ties in as the work of Moffatt's long-time friend and associate, record producer George JD Chun; Chun produced the recording by Liz Damon's Orient Express that was subsequently released nationally on the White Whale label and became a national hit.

On the other hand, Keali'i Reichel and the Mahaka Sons, who contribute “;E O Mai”; and “;Lahaina Luna,”; respectively, have never recorded for Moffatt or Chun.

And, be advised, the Don Ho recording of “;I'll Remember You”; included here is one he made after going solo, not the original hit version he recorded with the Aliis in 1965.

Anthology albums are obsolescent as more people embrace legal downloads as the way to buy individual songs, but this one is as much about Uncle Tom and his half-century in show business as it is about the music..

;» ”;Music of Hawaii”;
;» ”;E O Mai”;
;» ”;Opihi Bounce”;

'Last Takes with Rory'

Rich Crandall Trio
(Music Formats)

; Jazz pianist Rich Crandall honors the late Rory Flores with this collection of archival recordings.

It might have seemed inappropriate to release them too soon after Flores' death, a month short of what would have been his 44th birthday in 2006, but the musical magic of their work together should be shared and appreciated. Now it can be.

Flores opens the album with a soft percussion solo and remains in the forefront as Crandall and bassist Steve Jones join in; the song is titled “;Stomper,”; but there must be a story here because nothing in the arrangement suggests that there's any “;stomping”; going on.

Crandall and Jones share the opening bars of the aptly named “;Zeedik Lullaby,”; and Jones makes his presence felt aggressively plucking the bass line on “;Mind The Gap.”; They create fresh combinations of piano, drum and bass in each song that follows.

“;Where Have All the Flowers Gone”; is best known in pop circles as a hit by the Kingston Trio. The hit brought with it a touch of cynicism in posing the question “;When will they ever learn?”; (not to repeat the mistakes of the previous generation). Crandall's arrangement is more of a requiem. His interpretation of the melody brings to mind thoughts of the human tragedy involved rather than human folly.

Crandall's daughter, Angela, joins the guys to add a vocal component on “;Moon in the Daylight”; and “;There Will Never Be Another You.”; These tracks predate the release of her debut album, “;Shine,”; in 2007, and are a welcome addition to her discography as well.


;» ”;Stomper”;
;» ”;Zeedik Lullaby”;
;» ”;Mind the Gap”;