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Island Mele
Friday, May 19, 2000

By John Berger

Pahinui’s slack-key
has ‘Heart’

Bullet Windward Heart: By Bla Pahinui (Dancing Cat 38052-2)

THE distinctive style of Bla Pahinui is captured beautifully in this collection of solo live recordings. This is a "must buy" for slack-key fans.

The first track doesn't feature Pahinui and the album would be better without it. The tracks that follow create an engaging and multifaceted portrait of Pahinui as guitarist, singer and story teller. Add the meticulously detailed liner notes booklet and this is a perfect introduction to Pahinui and Hawaiian slack-key.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Waimanalo Blues
Bullet Moonlight Lady
Bullet Meleana E
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info


Bullet Jazz From Hawaii: By various (Ami Pua Publishing APCD 2000)

SELF-STYLED "Honolulu Jazz Poet & Songwriter" Bernie Ostrowski introduces four original compositions with support from such major Hawaii jazz talents as Tennyson Stephens, Azure McCall, David Choy, Jess Gopen and Steve Jones. Ostrowski favors somber themes. "A Lonely Solitude" and "Ain't In My Bed Blues" address the age-old subject of love lost; "Brothers Walkin' By" is an edgy uptempo number that shows his versatility as a writer.

Five standards complete the package. It's a smooth acoustic experience throughout, a welcome return by Stephens and McCall, and a fine local debut by Ken Ebo on trombone and vocals.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet A Lonely Solitude
Bullet Girl Talk
Bullet Moody's Mood for Love
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info

Ami Pua Publishing
3161 Ala Ilima #1602
Honolulu, HI 96818


Bullet Shakapella: By Shakapella (Hula Records International CDHRI-1012)

FIRST there were the Love Notes singing and recording a capella music in Hawaii. Now comes Shakapella adding a human "beat box" to the basic doo wop group sound. The name is just too too precious (shaka plus a capella, get it?) but the guys certainly can harmonize. They also do light local-style rap.

Andrew "Chill" Bulatao adds the "vocal percussion" effects to a repertoire that stretches from the Dominoes' risque 1951 hit, "Sixty Minute Man," to 'N Sync's "God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You."

"Honolulu Girls" is a weak parody of the Beach Boys hit. It isn't even the first local parody of the song; the vocal work is better than the concept. "Shakapella Groove," written by Bulatao and tenor/musical director/arranger Scott Turnbull, is a fine theme song and musical calling card.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Shakapella Groove
Bullet Shaka the Moon
Bullet Down on the Corner
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info

Hula Records International

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.

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