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Posts Tagged ‘Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 5’

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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The Crooner’s Weekly TOP 5 (9.19.12)

Wednesday, September 19, 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. Ei Nei (Lena Machado’s recording on the album Hawaiian Song Bird)

One of my favorite voices from the past is Aunty Lena Machado.  And while her voice and this song are both considered to be vintage by some folks, in my mind they’re also timeless.

One of my favorite things to hear when I’m on Molokai is when one of the kūpuna (elders) calls out so sweetly to someone across the room, “Hui!  Ei nei… aloha!  Aloha mai!”  (“You there!  Darling!  Love from me to you!”)

There’s a great story in the book, LENA MACHADO: SONGBIRD OF HAWAI’I that describes Aunty Lena’s relationship with her husband, Uncle Lu.

Listening to the song takes me back to when I was a little boy, staying in my grandparents’ house in Pennsylvania.  After dinner was finished and the dishes had been washed, they’d turn out the overhead lights and the kitchen would be lit by a tiny light over the sink.  We’d all go into the other room to watch television, with my grandparents holding hands while they walked.

Ei nei…

2. Nā ʻOno O Ka ʻĀina (Aunty Edith Kanakaʻole’s recording on the album Hiʻipoi I Ka ʻĀina Aloha)

I love this album and I love this particular track.  Here’s why:

This piece is dedicated to Aunty Edith Kanakaʻole and inspired by her song, Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai as well as her teachings.  The composition, attributed to Kalani Meinecke and George Kahumoku in the album’s liner notes, describes different types of taros (Aunty Edith’s favorites) and is done like a hymeni-style (hymn-like) chant with beautiful vocal harmonies.

The last verse of the piece will be instantly recognizable to so many people as the group HAPA used it to close their legendary recording of Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai.

Note to self: I need to make this part of my repertoire!

*Please click HERE to visit the website of the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation.

3. A Lei Of Aloha (Moe Keale’s recording on the album Imagine)

Wanna hear a beautiful song that really describes the spirit of Aloha?  This is it.

Incredibly simple–and yet so deep. How do you describe the Aloha spirit?  Well, this song’s lyrics do a great job of illustrating something so easily felt but so difficult to put into words.

And who better to sing it than Uncle Moe Keale?  His voice… his voice…

I’ve been listening to this song on repeat.  I like to think that the more I listen, the more it sinks into my bones.

*Please click HERE to visit a page that display’s the song’s lyrics.

4. One Day Soon (Ernie Cruz Jr’s recording on the album Portaits)

Oooh!  This song is smooth!

And that awesome slap-strum that makes such a fun beat!  I bet you can’t listen to it without moving your body.  I find myself snapping along while I listen–like I’m back in my father’s jazz club.

The song reminds me of a Stevie Wonder tune.  Old-school soul groove all the way–island style.  Love it.

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

When I’m stressed out, I put on some amazing kī hōʻalu, slack key guitar, music.  It soothes me.  Reaches down inside me and acts a pressure release.  Seriously.  I can feel my shoulders drop away from my ears…

This song, played by the one and only Cyril Pahinui, is like listening to the soundtrack of a dream.  Ah!  Those arpeggios!  The notes mix and swirl like colors on an artist’s palette.

A true master, he bends the strings and the rhythms under his skilled fingers.

*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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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. May Day Is Lei Day in Hawaiʻi (Gary Aiko’s recording on the album Hula Hou)

Aunty Genoa Keawe’s son, GARY AIKO, sings this fantastic song on her album, Hula Hou.

Gary’s voice is a favorite of mine. A true Hawaiian crooner–he knows how to use the voice to be smooth and elegant and classy.  To ‘da max!  I love his albums!

We celebrate May 1st as May Day and Lei Day–not only in Hawaiʻi, but everywhere that has Hawaiians or Hawaiians-at-heart.

It only seems right to include this classic this week.  And Gary Aiko sings it so beautifully!  Mahalo for that, Uncle Gary!

*Please click HERE to visit Aunty Genoa Keawe’s website.

*Please click HERE to learn more about May Day/Lei Day.

2. ʻAhulili (Raiatea Helm’s recording on the album Hawaiian Blossom)

When I first heard this recording, I wasn’t sure who was singing it.  It had that “old school” Hawaiian sound to it, but it sounded like a more recent recording.  Newer.  Brighter.

I was delighted when I learned that it was Raiatea Helm singing it–and honoring the singers that came before her who presented the song in a certain way.  She delivers it so beautifully!  It quickly became a favorite.

The song is attributed to Scott Haʻi.  And if you click HERE you can see what the original, handwritten manuscript looked like!  Cool!  (Mahalo, Huapala.org!)

*Please click HERE to visit Raiatea’s website.

3. Koali (Kamakakēhau Fernandez’s recording on the album Wahi Mahalo)

I love this song!  And I love how Kamakakēhau Fernandez sings it!

This song is on his long-awaited, much-anticipated album.  And wow… it delivers!  I’m hooked!

This traditional and classic song really allows him to showcase the fluidity of his smooth falsetto.  I’m blown away!

4. Young and Free (Olomana’s recording on the album Come to Me Gently)

You guys know how much I love a song that rocks that late 1970′s vibe (this album was released in 1980).  And you know how much I love the sound of the Hawaiian group, Olomana.  So it’s no surprise that this song rocks my world.

It’s got that feel-good vibe that my soul craves.  And their sweet vocal harmonies…

It calms this urban strummer down and reminds me to take a deep breath.

*Please click HERE to visit Olomana’s website.

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

When it’s time to relax, to wind down, to shed the stresses of the day, I turn to Uncle Led Kaapana and the awesomely soothing sounds of his kī hōʻalu, his slack key guitar.  So I guess it’s not a shock to see him (and his latest album) on the Weekly TOP 5–again!

The Hawaiian word I’d use to best describe his sound is nahenahe–soothing, gentle.

We all need a little peace and tranquility.  I turn to Uncle Led’s recordings for that.

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle 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!  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″ (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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