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Posts Tagged ‘crooner’

The Crooner’s Weekly TOP 5 (10.10.12)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

I LOVE HAWAIIAN MUSIC!  True story.

And I listen to it all the time!  Especially when I’m on the move–either walking along NYC’s crowded sidewalks or riding the rails on the subway through the tunnels under the concrete.  (I’m convinced that it helps to keep me sane in this crazy city!)

I love a really wide variety of it: vintage, traditional, contemporary, instrumental…

And I love sharing some of my favorites with you.

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

1. Here In This Enchanted Place (Emma Veary’s recording on the album The Best of Emma Veary)

This time of year, when autumn chills the air, I like to wrap myself up in a warm cocoon of sounds.

And this week, I decided to wrap myself up in the amazingly lovely voice of Ms. Emma Veary.  I mean, wow…

And the orchestration on this recording is BEYOND lush and rich and over-the-top-wonderful.

2. Medley: Leis for Sale/For You A Lei (Gary Aiko’s recording on the album A Romantic Night In Hawaii)

You guys know how much I love the golden sound of a crooner‘s voice.

And one of the very best crooners on the planet is Mr. Gary Aiko.  He’s got Hawaiian music in his veins–he’s Aunty Genoa Keawe’s son!  And he is  a true master of this era’s music… smooth and “crooner-iffic!”

And he’s got a new album, too!  Please click HERE to check it out!

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Gary’s website.

3. Manaʻo Pili (Diana Aki’s recording on the album Moments with You)

This song was a wonderful surprise this week!

I heard it and I had to stop what I was doing and just listen.  I mean, it captured my full attention.  Jazzy. Cool.  And that voice… unmistakable!

Are you familiar with this recording by Aunty Diana already? Am I just a latecomer to the party?

If you’re not familiar with it–you’re in luck.  You’ll be blown away by it, too.

(Note: It’s also on the album, Troubled Paradise, but that one is more difficult to find.)

*Please click HERE to see a great article (with a REALLY GREAT video link) about Aunty Diana.

4. Seabird (Andy Kimura’s recording on the album Island Classics)

My musical trip to “yesteryear” this week.  And what a good trip it is!

Any song that opens with a super cool jazz flute automatically gets my attention.  And it’s tropical vibe–almost like something you’d expect to hear on a classic THE LOVE BOAT episode, makes me grin from ear to ear.

And Audy Kimua can sing!  Right on, sir!  I’m totally digging his smooth sound!  Sadly, I’m unable to locate a copy of his album, Looking for the “Good Life.  So I’ll just have to wait to hear more…

5. Lei ʻOhu (Cyril Pahinui’s recording on the album 6 & 12 String Slack Key)

One of my favorite musicians to listen to is Uncle Cyril Pahinui.  I had the great chance to see him years ago here in NYC at a venue called The Knitting Factory.  He and Uncle Led Kaʻapana were playing a double-bill.  I was in heaven!

There’s just something special about him.  The way he sings.  The way he plays.  He’s a master, no doubt.  The music oozes out of him. Hawaiian to the core!  There are moments where, if I close my eyes, I can’t tell whether it’s him singing or his legendary father, Gabby “Pops” Pahinui.

Note:  He’s coming back to NYC this weekend!  If you’re around, check him out!  You won’t be sorry!  Please click HERE to learn more about his upcoming visit to the Big Apple.

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Cyril’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!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

**Wanna be the first to know when Crooner News/Updates are posted?  You can subscribe by clicking HERE!**

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Happy Birthday, Mariko!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

mariko gordon, jason poole, accidental hawaiian crooner,

Happy Birthday, Mariko!

Do you guys know my buddy, Mariko?

She’s my business partner, mentor, support system and one of the coolest people I know.

AND TODAY IS HER BIRTHDAY!

In my mind, today should be some sort of national holiday.  A day for celebrations throughout the land.

A day to celebrate an amazing person.

And you guys know she wrote a fantastic Hawaiian song, right?  She did!   And I recorded it!  And we made a video–complete with an awesome hula that she choreographed!  (Please click HERE to learn more about it!  And please click HERE to watch the video!)

So today, Ms. Mariko, the whole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner community celebrates YOU.

Happy Birthday, my friend!

HAUʻOLI LĀ HĀNAU IĀ ʻOE!

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The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 5″ (1.4.12)

Wednesday, January 4, 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. Hawaiian Love Call (Alfred Aholo Apaka’s recording on the album My Isle of Golden Dreams)

It’s no secret:  I love the voice the golden voice of the legendary crooner, Alfred Aholo Apaka.  He has a way of delivering a song that can make me stop in my tracks and just listen.  How amazing is that?!

This song, attributed to Aunty Irmgard Farden Aluli, is a classic. And this recording, which opens with the sound of a harp(!) is a classic, too.  Beautiful orchestration.  Beautiful background vocals that take part in a kind of call and response, both in English and Hawaiian.  And of, course, the voice of Alfred Apaka.

A perfect combination!

2. Nani Koʻolau (Robi Kahakalau’s recording on the album Keiki O Ka Āina)

I dare you listen to this song without a breaking a smile!

The incredible Troy Fernandez and his ʻukulele stylings open the track with a bouncy beat, guaranteed to make you tap your feet.

I love Sistah Robi’s voice–its smoky huskiness that tickles the ear.  (I have a friend here in NYC that sounds like Robi when she speaks.  Sometimes I ask her to repeat herself when she speaks–not because I didn’t hear her, but because I want to hear her again!  Ha!)

And this song, written by Abbey Kong, is a smile-inducing three minute ride of fun.

*Please click HERE to visit Sistah Robi’s website.

3. Kīhei (Mark Yamanaka’s recording on the album Lei Pua Kenikeni)

I have been LOVING this song this week.

It’s a classic song written by the legendary Kai Davis.  The song celebrates the beauty of the district of Kīhei on the island of Maui.  When you listen to it, I’ll bet you can imagine a great hula being danced to illustrate the lyrics.

And when Mark Yamanaka brings his smooth and effortless falsetto to the song, it ROCKS! (At least he makes it sound effortless!)  His sound excites me–it makes me want to listen more.  Im sure Im just one of his legion of fans–this guy can SING!!  Uihā!

*Please click HERE to visit Mark’s page at Reverbnation.

4. ʻO ʻOe Nō (Kūpaoa’s recording on the album English Rose)

When I heard this song, I got choked up.  I’ll be the first to admit that my Hawaiian language skills are rudimentary.  But you don’t need to be able to speak Hawaiian in order to understand the sentiment.

A song written for her beloved, Kalikolihau professes her love so beautifully.  When I sat down with the lyrics in front of me, it brought tears to my eyes.  And the way they trade parts–one singing harmony for while and then switching to carry the melody.  You can tell they love each other so much–their voices blend seamlessly. (There were moments where I was reminded of another favorite contemporary Hawaiian duet with close vocal harmonies, Kaʻena–recorded by Amy Hānanialiʻi Gilliom and Fiji on Amy’s album, Puʻuhonua.)

LOVE THIS!

*Please click HERE to visit Kūpaoa’s website.

5. Ka ʻŌpae (The Sons of Hawaiʻi’s recording on the album Yesterday and Today)

When you want the sound of old Hawaiʻi–you know… the kind of music that could be played at a backyard paʻina (party)or a kanikapila (Hawaiian-style jam session)–where do you go?  The Sons of Hawaiʻi!

This song, written (and sung, too!) by Dennis Kamakahi is like a fest for my hungry ears.  Maybe it’s because I’m getting ready to head back to the islands and I’m getting excited.  But I was really looking for something to give me what I was looking for.  And this song did it.  Right on!

*Please click HERE to visit the Sons of Hawaiʻi’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!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

**Wanna be the first to know when Crooner News/Updates are posted?  You can subscribe by clicking HERE!**

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Come and say,”Aloha!” on O’ahu!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Aloha, gang!

I’ve been writing about an upcoming trip to Hawaiʻi.  And now–that trip is coming up faster than I can believe!  I’m heading to Oʻahu in 3 days!

I wanted to post my upcoming schedule here on the blog.  If you’re on Oʻahu, I’d love to be able to say, “Aloha!” to you in person!

Here’s what’s on the list so far:

*Aloha Friday, January 6, 2012  KZOO AM 1210 (Honolulu’s Japanese language radio station!)*

6:00-6:30 PM HST   Ala Moana Center: Shirokiya Studio

I’ll be doing a radio interview/in-studio performance.  And I’m told there’s a small audience.  What an awesome way to spend an Aloha Friday!

Please click HERE to visit KZOO AM 1210′s website for more information.

*Sunday, January 8, 2012   Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi’s New Year’s ʻOhana Festival!*

11:30 AM-12:00 PM HST  Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i (Honolulu): Mōʻiliʻili Field Stage

I’m excited to be sharing Hawaiian music and talk-story at the festival  And I’m honored to be joined by my special guest (and good friend!), Andy Wang!  NYC is in the house!  Come spend the day at the festival with your family!

Please click HERE to read more about this event.

*Thursday, January 12, 2012  Pakele Live!*

Live Steam begins 6:00 PM HST at The Willow’s Restaurant (Honolulu)

I’m so excited to be a part of this awesome Hawaiian music television show!  And really honored to have my good  friend, Andy Wang, joining me as a special guest!  We’re bringing NYC to Honolulu, sharing Hawaiian music and talking-story. Come and be a part of the audience while we stream LIVE around the world!

Please click HERE to visit Pakele Live’s website for more information.

Please click HERE to visit The Willows Restaurant’s website for more information.

See you there!

Right on!

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The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 5″ (12.21.11)

Wednesday, December 21, 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. Mahina O Hoku (Dennis Pavao’s recording on the album Keiki Kupuna)

One of my favorite songs (a crooner classic!) recorded by one of my favorite singers.  Kind of a perfect combination, wouldn’t you say?

This song, attributed to Lilian Awa, talks about the night before the full moon.  Two lovers.  A secluded beach.  (Dot…dot…dot…)

In this version, Uncle Dennis presents the song with his beautiful leo kiʻekiʻe (falsetto) in a soothing way.  And he presents each verse two times–a hula dancer’s dream.  Note:  He doesn’t sing the third verse that’s sometimes included.

I love the golden crooning of Uncle Dennis Pavao.  I’m so glad we have his recordings–we can still thrill to his voice.

•Please click HERE to see a tribute page to Uncle Dennis Pavao.

2. Hiʻilawe (Ernie Tevares’ recording on the album Hukilau Hulas)

I was on the treadmill at the gym the other day and this version of the classic song, Hiʻilawe, came on.  It was different from others that I was familiar with.  Bouncier.  I loved it.  I loved it so much that I had to look to see who recorded it.  (Note to self: Stop the treadmill before attempting to read anything.  I practically wiped out!)

Only after I got home and searched the internet did I learn about the amazing musician, Ernie Tevares.  I’m blown away by what I read about him.   Coming from a classical “conservatory background”, I’m always so humbled when I learn about self-taught musicians that are so talented they’d make the best “conservatory trained” musicians bow down to their abilities.  I wish I could be like that!

This is a great recording and one I will go back to again and again.  And it’s bouncy tempo made for some great listening time while I was running!

*Please click HERE to read a little bit about Ernie Tevares and his brother, Freddie.

3. Panini Puakea (Israel Kamakwiwoʻole’s recording on the album Facing Future)

Ah!  This recording brings back such memories!

Like so many folks, Facing Future was one of my very first Hawaiian albums.  I remember listening to it–and THIS SONG in particular!–in my tiny studio apartment in NYC’s Lower East Side.  Ok… it was really more like a closet.  But when this song played, it felt like the whole space opened up.  Even a gloomy NYC winter’s day became sunny.

Long before I had dreams of even visiting Hawaii, I loved this song. And the healing sounds of Braddah IZ’s voice and ʻukulele.

The song, attributed to John K. Almeida, talks about a favorite flower.  And I think it would be easy for one to see the similarities between the flower and a beloved.  But that’s just my take on it…

Magical, indeed.

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

4. Falling (Keahiwai’s recording on the album Satisfied)

Listening to Keahiwai takes me back to the first time I went to Hawaiʻi.  I’d gone to Oʻahu for a friend’s wedding.  We were cruising around Waikīkī and I heard their music a lot on the radio.  My hula/ʻukulele friends and I had been listening to their debut album, Local Girls, a lot.  But the sound made so much sense when I got to Oʻahu and breathed the same air, saw the same sights, tasted the same tastes, heard the same sounds.

(It was on that trip that I also learned a lot of the music that made sense to my ears in NYC seemed loud and grossly out of place in Hawaiʻi!)

Simple.  Sweet.  Awesome.  (Makes me wanna close my eyes and sway.)

*Please click HERE to visit the Keahiwai’s official website. (And let ‘em know we miss them and want more music!)

5. Keʻala’s Mele (Leonard Kwan’s recording on the album Hawaiian Slack Key Masters Vol. 1)

This album served as my introduction to kī hōʻalu (slack key guitar) and I still love it.  What a great collection of so many amazingly talented musicians!

This track, recorded by the incredibly gifted Mr. Leonard Kwan, is pretty close to heaven.  I mean, I imagine this is what heaven must sound like.  The guitar is “honeyed’ and golden and sparkles.  The way light might dance along the water.

Love it.  And I love the way it makes me feel… (So thankful for recordings like this!)

*Please click HERE to read Leonard’s bio from Dancing Cat Records.

**Christmas Bonus Song:  Do You Hear What I Hear (Keola Beamer’s recording on the album Kī Hōʻalu Christmas)

This “traditional” Christmas song is magical.  And Keola’s recording captures the magic and mystery of Christmas for me. It brings to mind all sorts pictures–wise men following a star.  A deep blue-indigo night.  If something could be called perfect, this is it.

(**Crooner Note:  The whole album is fantastic!  This is something that plays all season in our home!)

*Please click HERE to visit Keola’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!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

**Wanna be the first to know when Crooner News/Updates are posted?  You can subscribe by clicking HERE!**

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The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 5″ (11.16.11)

Wednesday, November 16, 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. Kalalea (Ed Kenney’s recording on the album MY HAWAII)

Another legendary Hawaiian crooner, that I listen to all the time (and study his every vocal move!) is Ed Kenney.  A giant MAHALO to a very kind and generous Hawaiian woman at a picnic in NYC a few years ago.  She said I needed to track down some of his recordings and listen to them.  No need to tell me twice!  I tracked down a few of his albums and quickly understood why she’d recommended him to me.  His voice is smooth and graceful and oh, so elegant.  A treat for the ears!

This song celebrates the island of Kauaʻi–and the cliffs that overlook Anahola.

I first heard this song at a “backyard jam session” kanikapila.  It was delicious and oozed island flavor.  And then I heard Ed Kenney’s version which is totally different.  It has the same melody, but none of the roughness.  It’s smooth.  Polished.  Orchestrated.  It totally celebrates the era it was recorded in–the late 1950s.

Both versions are great.  This week, I swooned as he crooned.  Right on.

2. Lei Lokelani (The Kahauanu Lake Trio’s recording on the album At the Kaimana Beach Hotel)

I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of listening to the amazing recordings of the Kahauanu Lake Trio.  I mean, come on!  Does it really get much better than that?

This song, attributed to Charles E. King, describes a lei made of the lovely lokelani or Maui rose.  It’s not difficult to infer that perhaps the kaona–or “hidden meaning”–might be the comparison of the flower to a beloved.

 

Even though the song is about the Maui rose, this recording takes me to Waikīkī instantly, sitting oceanside and listening to Hawaiian music while watching the sunset.  Ah!

*Please click HERE to read a great article written about Uncle K. from 2003.

3. Honolulu Blue and Green (Melveen Leed’s recording on the album Melveen’s Hawaiian Country Hits)

Aunty Melveen’s voice rocks!  I love its texture–kind of rough and playful and smoky and sultry–all at the same time.  I’ve tried to describe it to friends and the closest comparison I can come up with is that it’s similar to the sound of Dusty Springfield.  But Aunty Melveen’s voice is totally unique.  Totally beautiful.  Totally hers.

This song, sung entirely in English (except for the Hawaiian place names) is a great tune that Aunty Melveen brings to life so beautifully.  I’ve heard stories about how she went to Nashville–and I imagine her singing this song while she was there and homesick for her beloved islands.  Wondering why she’d ever left and dreaming about her homecoming.

It’s got a great 1960s feel is both country and Hawaiian at the same time.  (I always say that Hawaiian music and country music are close cousins!)

*Please click HERE to visit Aunty Melveen’s website.

4. Keawaiki (Keola & Kapono Beamer’s recording on the album Hawaii’s Keola & Kapono Beamer)

From the opening notes of the guitar, you can tell this is a Beamer family recording–their distinctive style comes through loud and clear.

And what’s most exciting about this recording is that it takes an old classic song like Keawaiki and puts a somewhat contemporary spin on it–with modern (at least for the time!) instrumentation and phrasing.  The album was originally release in 1975,  during a time when Hawaiʻi was undergoing a huge renaissance and re-claiming a sense of cultural identity and pride.  How exciting to see a duo of young brothers recording a classic song and releasing it for broad/wide audience.

When I pulled this CD from my collection and looked at the cover, my heart “squeezed” a little bit.  When I look at the faces of Keola and Kapono, I can see the face of their mother, Aunty Nona Beamer.  I miss her.  But seeing her in her sons’ faces makes me smile, too.  Like she’s not really gone.  Her line continues… not only in her family, but in those that she taught and in those that she touched.

*Please click HERE to visit Keola’s website.

*Please click HERE to visit Kapono’s website.

5. ʻOhana Slack Key (Rev. Dennis Kamakahi’s recording on the album ʻOhana)

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

And I love the music of Uncle Dennis.  (That’s also no secret!  Ha!)

This week, I wanted to close my eyes while I listened to this song.  We used to do that in music classes when I was in elementary school.  It allowed for deep listening.  And sometimes, it allowed us to “see pictures” in our minds–creating scenes that followed the sounds we were hearing.

When I closed my eyes to listen to this song, the image that came to mind was a group of people having a conversation.  A dialogue.  With activity happening in the background.  Pretty interesting that the song is called ʻOhana Slack Key–ʻohana being the Hawaiian word for family.

Pops tells stories about growing up in Hālawa Valley on Molokai.  When the family was done eating, often times there would be a kanikapila, a music session.  I imagine conversations happening, music playing and activity like cleaning up after the meal–all happening at the same time.  Peaceful yet active.  Just like this song.  Different voices and different energies moving together.  Weaving together.

Awesome.

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Dennis’ 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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