Duo pens catchy tunes


POSTED: Friday, January 15, 2010

'Love of the Islands'

Hana & Satchwell

; It's been 20 years since the original Hawaiian Style Band—Wade “;Che”; Cambern, Robi Kahakalau, Bryan Kessler and Merri McGarry—reworked a song originally written as an advertising jingle into a Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning local pop hit, “;Live a Little.”; Ricky Hana and Alan Satchwell evoke a similar vibe with several of their originals here. Local businesses and ad agencies in search of catchy, commercial-friendly compositions should give their work a careful listen.

The duo establishes a carefree tropical theme with the opener, “;One Day at a Time,”; with the blending of percussion, live brass and an easy Caribbean-style beat positioning them perfectly on the interface of pop and Jawaiian. A similar song, “;Another Day in Paradise,”; would be the perfect theme music for the visitor industry's next advertising campaign (FYI, they write in the liner notes that the “;big fattie”; they mention refers to a “;high-quality cigar”;).

On “;Maui Sunset”; they slow the tempo and move toward seriousness as they describe the Valley Isle as “;land that was never meant to be owned.”;

;» ”;Maui Sunset”;
;» ”;Another Day in Paradise”;
;» ”;Healing Isle”;

'The Best of Keith Scott'

Keith Scott

; Composer/musician Keith Scott sums up his career to date with this collection of 21 recordings that represent the contents of eight previous releases and includes two that date from his early days as a studio musician in the '70s. “;Europa”; and Chopin's “;Minute Waltz Op. 61 #1,”; both noteworthy selections from his 2004 release, “;Waikiki,”; again give listeners familiar melodies to appraise. Eight originals display his range as a composer.

Piano/keyboards and fluegelhorn are Scott's primary instruments; he features the fluegelhorn on “;Europa”; while using both prominently in “;Waikiki,”; an original composition that borrows nothing from Andy Cummings' hapa haole masterpiece of the 1930s. The music of Hawaii is represented elsewhere with a soothing arrangement of Jerry Santos' signature composition, “;Ku'u Home o Kahalu'u.”;

“;Blue Bossa”; and “;Simple Samba”; demonstrate Scott's familiarity with another genre of world music. “;Do You Know What It Means,”; played in the style of the pop hits of a century ago, stands out in representing a third portion of his repertoire. Playing “;Rhapsody in Blue”; on an instrument that sounds like an old-time player piano, and backing it with a synth-track rhythm section, puts a memorable spin on that jazz and pop music standard.

Scott's imagination is also at work as he takes a jazz-fusion approach to “;It's Too Late,”; Carole King's mega-hit. “;Do What You Can”; and “;Street to Nowhere,”; two tunes from 1974, provide samples of his work as recorded by an unidentified vocal group.

;» ”;Fly Free”;
;» ”;Just The Way You Are”;
;» ”;Black Orpheus”;

'Press Play'

Nesian N.I.N.E.
(no label)

; The creative imprint of George “;Fiji”; Veikoso as co-writer and co-producer is all over this is recently released project by Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era). And, if the big man isn't also helping out on vocals, someone in the group sure sounds a lot like him!

None of that's bad. With Fiji as their mentor, the group should be among the finalists for Best Reggae Album at this year's Hoku Awards.

The group opens the album in Rastafarian mode, proclaiming their commitment to “;putting the Most 'Igh first”; and stating their desire to “;perpetuate our culture”; and keep “;the riddim in the roots stylin'.”;

The faux-Jamaican accents fade with the second song, and the vocalists sing straight from there on. Two songs—“;Honey Do”; and “;Be Your Man”;—demonstrate their command of R&B-style harmonizing in convincing style.

The group coins some memorable phrases—“;put your body where your mouth is,”; for example, and the idea of wanting to be a woman's “;honey do this, honey do that”; man. On the other hand, English songwriters Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett deserve at least a “;thank you”; in the liner notes for the group's use of a lyric hook from the Cliff Richard hit “;Summer Holiday”; in “;Sweet Island Breezy.”;

Two completely original songs depart from the prevailing format. “;Le Gata'aga”; is a beautiful love song performed in an unidentified Polynesian language. “;You Complete Me”; showcases a single vocalist singing in English and accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. It too is beautifully done.

;» ”;Rise Up”;
;» ”;Sweet Island Breezy”;
;» ”;Giving It All To You”;