Island Mele
Friday, December 7, 2001

By John Berger




Kohala and Friends

"Lullaby" comes just in time to soothe jangled nerves during this hectic and stressful season. Kohala is acoustic guitarist Charles Michael Brotman (who uses nylon strings) and his partners, acoustic guitarists Kevin Teves and Charlie Recaido (who use steel strings).

Their "friends" possess some of Hawaii's sweetest voices. Each song is a guaranteed stress-reliever.

The solo vocalists include Robi Kahakalau, Malani Bilyeu, Brother Noland and Pauline Wilson; Jake Shimabukuro guests on one of the instrumentals. It's hard to name favorites but Lorna Lim's "Mokihana Lullaby" is a gem among gems.

"Lullaby" is also being sold in Japan so there's a Japanese melody here too.

MP3 Audio Clips:
Bullet Pupu Hinuhinu
Bullet Mokihana Lullaby
Bullet Honu's Dream
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



"A Night of Ukulele Jazz"

Lyle Ritz and Herb Ohta
Flea Market Music

Herb "Ohta-san" Ohta is rightly known as one of the world's greatest ukulele virtuosos. Lyle Ritz first defined the tenor uke as a jazz instrument almost 50 years ago. Ritz and Ohta have done studio albums together but this one, recorded with Richard Simon on acoustic bass, captures the special chemistry an audience can inspire.

Some of these songs are staples but the musicians' interpretations are of a particular point in time.

No one is a more active national advocate of the ukulele than producer Jim Beloff who has made available information on the artists' tunings, which may be of interest to other uke fans.

MP3 Audio Clips:
Bullet Lulu's Back In Town
Bullet A Song For Anna
Bullet Fly Me To The Moon
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



"Next Generation"

Island Groove Productions

Imua consists of singer/songwriters David Dunaway and Albert "Baba" Akiona plus some studio musicians. The group's third album reaffirms its commitment to performing original Jawaiian music rather than remakes. Most of the rhythms and riffs are familiar but the lyric vignettes of contemporary island life are original.

In addition to topics such as surfing, love at first sight, and the UH sports program ("Warrior Pride"), Imua steps into the political arena with a song castigating Gov. Ben Cayetano's fiscal priorities.

MP3 Audio Clips:
Bullet Moonlight Surfing
Bullet Next Generation
Bullet Just To See You Again
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info

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]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin