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Posts Tagged ‘Best of Kalapana Vol. 1’

The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 5″ (2.22.12)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

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!

Here are the TOP 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Kamalani (Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s recording on the album In Concert – The Man And His Music)

I love a good live album, don’t you?  If it’s done well, it’s like being there and seeing it happen.  And I love when the artist does things in the live recording that they don’t do in the “studio versions.”

This track opens with the incomparable Braddah IZ telling the audience about the song and the story.

And then he launches into it.  So beautiful and so haunting.

(Every time I hear this song, I think about my musical brother, Tommy Cheng, and how much fun we have playing and singing it.  Tommy!  We need to jam soon!)

*Please click HERE to visit IZ’s official website.

2. Ipo Hula (Genoa Keawe’s recording on the album Genoa Keawe Sings Lūʻau Hulas)

When I find myself  ”down in the dumps,” I know surefire way to feel better:  listen to an Aunty Genoa recording!

Her joy–the joy of singing and sharing Hawaiian music–comes through so clearly!

And her distinctive strumming style makes me grin from ear to ear.  It’s instantly recognizable–even before she sings, you know it’s Aunty Genoa.

Attributed to Aunty Lena Machado, this simple-to-strum (only 4 chords!) is a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

*Please click HERE to visit Aunty Genoaʻs website.

3. Maile Swing (Leinaʻala Haʻili’s recording on the album Best of Leinaʻala)

How much fun is this song?!

Seriously, gang.   Makes me grin from ear to ear.  Attributed to John K. Almeida, this song lives up to it’s name–IT SWINGS!

And with a voice like Aunty Leinaʻalas, how can you go wrong?

Another song that should be a part of every Hawaiian crooner’s repertoire.

4. Naturally (Kalapana’s recording on the album The Best of Kalapana Vol. 1)

When I’m in need of a great 70′s vibe, I turn to Kalapana.

Yup.  They rock my world.  And this song makes me feel like I’m riding around in big ol’ car with the windows rolled down and warm summer wind blowing in my face.

Gets me every time.

5.  Puka Pants (Chris Yeaton’s recording on the album The Stand)

Chris Yeaton has such a magical touch on the guitar.   The sound of sunshine, I think.  Like the sound of light making dancing rings on the water.

And this classic song gets a royal treatment, Yeaton-style!

I think he’s an amazing musician.  And an amazingly cool guy, too.

*Please click HERE to visit Chris’ page on the Woodsong Acoustics Group site.

What are YOU listening to?  Drop me a line and let me know!

And, as always, a giant MAHALO to Puna and the gang at www.mele.com for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

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The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 5″ (11.9.11)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

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!

Here are the TOP 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Nā Moku ʻEhā (Alfred Aholo Apaka’s recording on the album Hawaii’s Golden Voice)

It’s a well-known fact that one of my heroes in Hawaiian music is the legendary crooner, Alfred Aholo Apaka.  Every time I listen to one of his recordings, I have to stop what I’m doing and just listen.  Well, listen and study, that is.  He’s one of the greatest singers I’ve ever heard.  The way he uses the voice as an instruments–with gentle scoops and glides (portamenti), he tugs at the heart.

This classic song is one that many people will be familiar with.  It describes four of the Hawaiian islands: Hawaiʻi, Maui, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi.  Each verse tells the flower/lei associated with the island as well as one of it’s major mountains/mountain ranges.  What a great way to learn about the islands. It’s like an Hawaiian ancestor to Schoolhouse Rock!

And I totally LOVE the fun, upbeat strum used on the ʻukuele.  Rhythm playing at its best.

2. Nā Pua Lei ʻIlima (Olomana’s recording on the album E Mau Ana Ka Haʻaheo)

Olomana’s recording of this classic song is a delight to my ears.  It’s nahenahe-gentle, soothing.  Literally, it tells of the beautiful and cherished ʻilima blossom, the yellow flower that is associated with the island of Oʻahu.

Their tight vocal harmonies and masterful playing of guitar, bass and percussion make it a winner, in my book!  (I especially love hearing the voices of Aunty Haunani Apoliona and Jerry Santos weaving a lovely tapestry of sound.)

*Please click HERE to visit Olomana’s website.

3. Pohai Kealoha (Leinaʻala Haili’s recording on the album Best of Leinaʻala)

This week, I felt compelled to study this song. I went through my collection and pulled out all of the recordings that I had of this mele.  And I have to tell you, this one made me SMILE.  I mean really smile!  I’ve heard it done different ways, different styles.  From slow to fast.  From super-masculine to ultra-feminine. But Aunty Leinaʻala’s is the only version that I have in my collection that sounds like this.  Kind of like being in a nightclub.  It’s awesome from start to finish.

And it’s exciting to see how a classic Hawaiian song was being presented in 1967 (I think!) when it was recorded for her album Nō Ka ʻOi.  It’s contemporary–for that time anyway–and I’m sure it helped to introduce a younger crowd to the classic Hawaiian repertoire.  I know that’s always a controversial thing to do–there are folks that insist the songs be presented the same way every time.  In this recording, Aunty Leinaʻala didn’t change the melody or the phrasing.  Rather, she updated the song with its “nightclub-style” percussion and its intstrumentation.

I love this.  LOVE IT.  True story.

*Sadly, Aunty Leinaʻala Haili passsed away in 2005.  Click HERE to read to read an obituary.  Itʻs full of great information about this legendary singer!

4. Dorothy Louise (Kalapana’s recording on the album Kalapana II)

A blast from the past!

You guys know how much I love a great 1970′s vibe in song.  And this song totally has it!

When I listen to Kalapana’s recordings from this period, I think of sitting in the back seat of my parents’ big car, listening to the 8-track player.  Granted, we weren’t listening to Kalapana (I didn’t really know about Hawaiian music until I was in my late 20s) but… the style is the same.  Classic. Tight vocal harmonies.  Tight chromatic melodic moves.

Sweet.

The song is also featured on their album The Best of Kalapana Vol: 1.

5. Hula O Makee (Ledward Kaapana’s recording on the album The Legend: Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar)

I love kī hōʻalu (slack key guitar) music!  It’s no secret.

And I love the sensitive touch of kī hōʻalu master, Ledward Kaapana.  AND… the double bonus of this song is that HE SINGS IT, TOO!  This song is one that Pops and I sing when we’re jamming down in Hālawa Valley.  It brings a smile to my face–guaranteed.

Uncle Led is one of the best.  Hawaiian music runs through his veins.

*Please click HERE to visit Led’s website.

What are YOU listening to?  Drop me a line and let me know!

And, as always, a giant MAHALO to Puna and the gang at www.mele.com for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!

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