Island Mele
John Berger




Jordan Segundo

Jordan Segundo and producer Dave Tucciarone show their commercial smarts by playing it safe with the "American Idol" finalist's long anticipated debut album. There are plenty of Jawaiian pop and oldies here for local consumption.

There is a song to two here that could get him noticed outside Hawaii.

Tucciarone, who created almost all the music tracks, gets a composer's credit for "Count On My Love," a catchy Jawaiian pop song that should be suffice to sell Segundo on island music-format radio. Veteran composer Justin Kawika Young steps in as the "studio band" on "I'm Gonna Love You Anyway" that Segundo handles well.

"Let's Stay Together," reworked as a duet with Kanoe Gibson, is the most interesting of the five remakes here, but "Calling You" and "When I Get You Alone" show that Segundo can take on soft rock songs as well.


Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet "Count On My Love"
Bullet "I'm Gonna Love You Anyway"
Bullet "When I Get You Alone"
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



"Body Surfing"

Roy Sakuma Productions

"Waste not, want not" is apparently Roy Sakuma's inspiration for releasing this album by 'ukulele master Herb "Ohta-san" Ohta. Seven of the songs, including the title track, were first released in the late 1980s on an album that won Ohta a Hoku Award in 1988, but the . other five tracks may be new work. Two are originals, "Always New" and "When I'm Not Around."

Question is, will Ohta's fans buy an album just to get five new songs, or go for downloads instead?

As with Ohta's other recent albums, the most interesting selections are those with the fewest additional musicians. His musical virtuosity can be obscured when he is presented as just a band member. The good news is that four of the five new songs are solos.

His arrangement of "Open Arms" is particularly interesting because the original is so well known, but the others are beautiful as well.


Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet "Fundamental"
Bullet "Open Arms"
Bullet "Body Surfing"
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



"Holy Ground"

Trey Thompson

Album packaging can sometimes be misleading. Take this album, for example. Although the title suggests a religious theme, and the cover art is reminiscent of several local Christmas anthologies, Trey Thompson is, in fact, a bass player who particularly enjoys jazz. The liner notes explain that the title track was inspired by his feeling that being in Hawaii "is indeed like walking on Holy Ground," but there is no sectarian proselytizing to be found in his music.

Thompson proves a solid player on acoustic and electric instruments alike, and he approaches the eight tunes here with varying numbers of musicians around him. Guitarist Brandon Yip's reworking of "Like Father Like Son" as a piece for guitar and bass is one of the most unconventional. Thompson's wife, Sara, adds another diverse element as the vocalist on a leisurely exploration of Miles Davis' "Blue In Green."


Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet "Beautiful Love"
Bullet "Solar"
Bullet "Shorter"
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info

See the Columnists section for some past reviews.

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. Contact John Berger at jberger@starbulletin.com.

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