Island Mele


POSTED: Friday, November 21, 2008

”;E Ola Ke Ali'i (The Na Kama Christmas Collection - Volume 1)”;

Na Kama

; Na Kama greets Christmas with a mixed bag of seasonal selections that showcases the trio's strengths while also embracing Christian and secular sentiments.

“;E Ola Ke Ali'i”; and “;Iesu No Ke Kahuhipa”; open the album and make good use of the group's talents as musicians and vocalists. Instrument-only arrangements of “;Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)”; and “;Hawaiian Santa”; are also nicely done. “;White Christmas”; becomes a hapa-haole song with the addition of Hawaiian lyrics.

The trio also goes hapa haole with “;Christmas In The Islands,”; a Randie Kamuela Fong composition that describes things that make a Hawaiian Christmas unique in the 50 states.

With “;Be Not Afraid,”; another Fong tune, Na Kama performs with a choir behind them and closes their album on an uplifting and celebratory note.

;» ”;Iesu Ola Ke Ali'i”;
;» ”;Hawaiian Santa”;
;» ”;White Christmas”;


Dave Tucciarone
(no label)

; Although Dave Tucciarone is a multi-Hoku Award-winner for his work as a producer and studio engineer, he is relatively unknown as a recording artist. That is, until now. Tucciarone's first album of his own is a remarkable, broad-brush project that includes folk-rock philosophizing (”;The Good Years”;), alt-rock slam poetry (”;Time”;) and introspective acoustic pop (”;I Feel So Alive”;). All the songs are originals, all the voices and all the instrumentation are Tucciarone's.

And, no question about it, Tucciarone has the ability to work convincingly across a broad spectrum of modern music. His use of rhyme and meter on “;Mad World”; brings to mind “;Give Peace A Chance,”; but his words and music steal nothing from Lennon's work. His pieces elsewhere are sometimes reminiscent of other artists—moody alt-rockers, for the most part—but there, too, the thoughts are original.

;» ”;The Good Years”;
;» ”;Time”;
;» ”;Mad World”;

”;Good Fun”;

Hapa Folk
(Hapa Folk)

; James “;Kimo”; Stone is best known in local music circles as a member of Ku'uipo Kumukahi & The Hawaiian Hall of Fame Serenaders, the quartet whose debut album, “;The Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Presents Na Lani 'Eha,”; won two Hoku Awards earlier this year. Working here with Doug Kilpatrick, Poki'i Vaughan and several talented sidemen, Stone plays American folk songs, pop standards and Top 40 hits as well as Hawaiian classics.

The group's take on “;I'll Remember You,”; featuring Calvin “;Kanaka Waiolina”; Murasaki on violin, is beautifully done. On “;Hawaii '78”; a change of tempo suggests the urgency of acting now to save the little that remains. The trio's harmonies also enhance “;Somewhere Over The Rainbow”; and “;Ho'onani (Doxology).”;

On the other hand, their Top 40 remakes seem to be there simply because they like playing them. 'Nuff said!


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;» ”;If I Had A Hammer”;
;» ”;Ku'u Hoa”;
;» ”;Little Sister”;

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