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The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 3″–The Aloha Music Camp Edition (6.30.10)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Aloha kākou!

I always have my iPod with me. It’s my personal jukebox.

Living in New York City, I spend a lot of time traveling underground via subway–and those rides can be long and boring! But having a collection of great music with me at all times keeps me from losing my mind. I can escape to a tropical isle with the push of a button. Portable paradise!

**A lot of my friends are at the Aloha Music Camp this week on the beautiful island of Hawaiʻi. They are on my mind–and I miss them so much! Here are some songs that are TRULY incredible–and they feature some of the master artistry of some of the teaching artists there this week.**

Here are the TOP 3 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Hula O Makee e (Keola Beamer’s recording on the album Island Born)

One can always tell a Keola Beamer song by his touch on the guitar. And you can usually recognize it in the opening note of the song. He’s a master in the truest sense of the word. His guitar literally sparkles. And this song, which features his vocals, allows the listener to hear the Beamer ʻohana’s signature musical experience… There’s a reason this family is legendary!

It also features Uncle George Kahumoku, another musical genius, who lends his voice as harmony. A fantastic duet in every way.

This traditional song is one of my favorites. It’s something that Pops and I sing when it’s time for kanikapila–once work in the loʻi (taro patch) is finished for the day. It tells the tale of a ship that gets stuck on a reef–and it’s rich with hidden meaning or kaona.

2. All Pau Now (The Hula Honeys recording on the album Life Just Got Sweeter)

I had the pleasure of hearing this song sung live by the incredible Robyn Kneubuhl a few years ago. And it’s one of those songs that sticks with you. There have been MANY mornings that it echoes in my head when I wake up.

From what I was able to dig up in my research, it was written by Gordon Beecher in 1941–and it SINGS like a true crooner staple. The luscious harmonies of both of these talented women call to mind a different era–an era when dapper men and elegant ladies might have sipped cocktails and danced the night away on a beachfront terrace.

Robyn Kneubuhl and Ginger Johnson (along with their richly talented musical partners, Cliff Collins and Jeff Costello) allow us, as listeners, to step back in time. And that’s so gooooooooood!

**And special CONGRATS to The Hula Honeys on a recent win at the 2010 Nā Hoku Hanohano Awards for their album, Girl Talk ! Jazz album of the Year! Uihā!

3. Beautiful Hula Dancer (John Keawe’s recording on the album Beautiful Hula Dancer)

I’m so honored to know John Keawe and I’m a huge fan of his master guitar and vocal skills. As a composer, he writes contemporary songs that are so very traditional! It’s a treat to know that the rich tradition of Hawaiian composition is alive and well in gifted artists like him.

AND… this song is about the beautiful hula dancer in his life–his amazingly lovely wife, Hope.

Just listen to the lyrics. You’ll know EXACTLY how he feels about her. This song provides a peek into a loving relationship. We should all be so lucky to have someone write a song like this for us!

What have YOU been listening to this week? Drop me a line and let me know!

One Response to “The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 3″–The Aloha Music Camp Edition (6.30.10)”

  1. Jason, I’ve been in a totally retro mode this week playing The Caz: Captured Magic while I work on the computer. Over and over and over again. And I’m teaching my haumana My Sweet Gardenia Lei which I choreographed on a back patio in Kailua in October of 1987. These songs, recorded live, evoke memories from the Shell, the RHH shows and Fridays in the park. I was there for all of them and have the t-shirts to prove it. Glorious music from break your heart voices and ringing guitar. Simple and powerful. I am lifted. Aloha no, darlings. Aunty Momi