Please support our very first advertiser!

Island Mele

By John Berger

Friday, October 15, 1999



Fine intro to
traditional falsetto

Bullet Ola Ka 'Oiwi:
Sam Keli'iho'omalu (Hula CDHS-608)

THE Aloha Festivals Frank B. Shaner Hawaiian Falsetto Contest is a major showcase for amateur singers. This debut album by 1988 winner Sam Keli'iho'omalu will delight anyone who appreciates Hawaiian falsetto and traditional Hawaiian music.

Keli'iho'omalu gives eight standards the careful interpretation they deserve. Four originals fit perfectly.

The arrangements are clean and synthesizer free. The liner notes include the lyrics, English translations, and information on the significance of each song. This is a perfect introduction to Keli'iho'omalu and Hawaiian falsetto.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Pua Onaona
Bullet Kawohikukapulani
Bullet Huelo
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info

Kona-Kai Distributing, (808) 847-4608



Bullet Te Quiero (Ooh ... Baby Baby):
Mila (AC Records ACCD0519)

MILA Mendoza-Yandell's debut album includes three Top 40 oldies redone with Spanish lyrics. Producer Alfonso Velazquez doesn't say if the new lyrics are accurate colloquial translations of "Ooo Baby Baby," "Going To The Chapel" ("Vote Con Ella") and "Killing Me Softly With His Song" ("Matandome Suavemente"), but Mila sings them beautifully.

Velazquez does a generally competent job blending guitar and sax with synthetic music tracks created by Ronnie Esteban and Dennis Graue.

Mila sings "To Have You Back Again" with a smooth country edge, but she and Velazquez fail to match the power and passion that made "If I Can't Have You" a Billboard No. 1 hit for Yvonne Elliman in 1978. Tinny synth tracks under "Vote Con Ella" also show that sometimes synthetics don't suffice, but Mila merits pop station play.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Te Quiero (Ooh...Baby Baby)
Bullet Vote Con Ella
Bullet Do you Still Need Me
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info



Bullet Drifting and Dreaming With Sonny Kamahele:
Sonny Kamahele (SMK I Duno SK001)

SONNY Kamahele is an engaging link to an earlier era. He debuted with the Police Glee Club in 1929 and still plays three times a week in Waikiki. His album is almost a solo show; he sings, plays guitar, ukulele and steel guitar (Alan Akaka sits in on bass).

Kamahele wrote or co-wrote all 20 songs. Half are steel guitar instrumentals. Fans of Hawaiian steel and traditional hapa-haole music will find this a fine keepsake.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Hello My Dear
Bullet My Sweet Hawaiian Maid
Bullet Say A Sweet Aloha
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info

SMK I Duno Records, 55 South Judd Street, #610, Honolulu, HI 96817

See Record Reviews for some 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 Today
section on Fridays for the latest reviews.

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin