Listen to Jason:

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Posts Tagged ‘falsetto’

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. Kealoha (Benny Kalama’s recording on the album Legends of Falsetto)

A favorite song sung with the FANTASTIC falsetto-stylings of Mr. Benny Kalama = a huge smile on my face when I listen to this recording.

Seriously, gang, this is AWESOME!

Done like a true falsetto crooner, Benny Kalama brings this song to life so beautifully–with all the stylistic intricacies of the era.

If you’re a fan of leo kiʻekiʻe (falsetto singing) you’re going to love this.

*Please click HERE to see an article about Uncle Benny written in 2006.

2. I’ll Remember You (Myrtle K. Hilo’s recording on the album The Singing Cab Driver)

I love this song, written by the amazing Kui Lee.

And I love the super cool, raspy and ono-to-the-ears sound of Aunty Myrtle K. Hilo’s (a.k.a. The Singing Cab Driver’s) voice.

Put ‘em together, along with some awesome Hawaiian lyrics written by Pilahi Paki, and you’ve got an awesome combination.

Magic.  Pure magic.

*Please click HERE to read a fun interview/article featuring Aunty Myrtle from 2002.

3. Kanoe (Robert Cazimero & Halau Na Kamalei’s recording on the album RCHNK)

I was listening to my iPod on “shuffle mode” this week.  And this song took my surprise.  I thought, “What is this?  A Hawaiian men’s chorus?  I didn’t know I had an album like this!”

I was so excited to see that it was a recording by the legendary male hālau hula (hula school) Hālau Nā Kamalei–under the direction of the legendary musician and kumu hula (master hula teacher) Robert Uluwehi Cazimero.

When I got back to my apartment, I went right to my CD stacks to read the album’s liner notes to see who was on the recording as well as any notes that were provided.   Loved it from the first word.  And, of course, that meant I needed to listen to the album again–from start to finish!  (And I loved it, again, from the first note to the last.)

This song, written by Robert Cazimero, stole my heart.  I love it for so many reasons–especially the tenderness in the men’s voices.

*Please click HERE to learn about the exciting and award-winning documentary (by Lisette Kaualena Flanary) about the halau: NĀ KAMALEI: The Men Of Hula.

4. Puko’o Paddle (Lono’s recording on the album Old Style III)

When I think of music on Molokai today, I think of Lono–his voice and songs are so tightly woven in the tapestry of that island.

This song, written by Lono (Lonomusic) is amazing–complexly beautiful and so very simple at the same time.  I know it’s kind of a cliche to say it, but it’s like a sweet onion–with so many layers!  Contemporary music with such a truly “Old Style”-feel to it.

Do you know Lono and his music?  Please check him out.  I love him.

*Please click HERE to visit Lono’s website.

5. Let Us Dream (John Cruz’s recording on the album One of These Days)

I totally dig the music of John Cruz.

Whether he’s singing traditional Hawaiian music or a self-penned contemporary composition like this one, he always put his distinctive spin/sound on it.

This song took me back to my days working in my dad’s jazz club in Pittsburgh.  Sultry.  Smoky.  Cool.  Right on.

*Please click HERE to visit John’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!**

0 Comments

Aloha kākou!

Here’s this week’s question:

The song UʻILANI is a Hawaiian classic and much beloved by falsetto singers.  Who composed this gem?

A.  John Piʻilani Watkins

B.  Lena Machado

C.  Dennis Kamakahi

D.  Alice Namakelua

• Please submit your answer by posting a reply to this entry on the blog.
• All correct answers will be eligible to win a special email message from me.
• One winner will be randomly chosen at 11:59pm HST.

Will YOU be this week’s lucky winner?

Good Luck!

Aloha Poʻalima! Happy Aloha Friday!

**Crooner Update:

You guys rock.  True story.

The answer is B. Lena Machado.   (I love her music!)

And this week’s winner, chosen randomly from all of the correct answers, is… (Drum roll, please…) DERREK RUBINA!  Congrats, Derrek!  You are a Trivia Superstar!

A giant MAHALO to everyone for playing along this week.  I hope you’ll play along next week, too!

Happy weekend, gang.

A hui hou…

Jason

6 Comments

The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 5″ (10.12.11)

Wednesday, October 12, 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. Na Ka Pueo (Joe Keawe’s recording on the album Hawaii’s Falsetto Returns)

I love this song. And I love the amazing voice of Uncle Joe Keawe.  And I love this whole album.  Yup.  It’s a triple love.

The song is classic, upbeat Hawaiian tune that is one of the most-requested songs when I have the chance to strum/sing for hula dancers.  (And I LOVE it when they dance it with an ipu, a Hawaiian percussive instrument made from a gourd.)

It’s also a great song for leo kiʻekiʻe, Hawaiian falsetto, singing.  Rock on, Uncle Joe!  What an amazing voice had.

Interesting to note that he sings the lyrics as “Na ka Pueokahi” which means “Love from the Pueokahi” instead of “No ka Pueokahi” which means “Love for the Pueokahi.”  If you listen to a lot of Hawaiian music, you’ll hear both of these versions–it depends on the artist.  Interesting, right?

2. Pua Lilia (Nathan Aweau’s recording on the album E Apo Mai )

Nathan Aweau has one of the smoothest voices I’ve ever heard.

And when he presents the songs on this album (and some of his others, too!) he puts a very contemporary spin on some very traditional Hawaiian songs.  I’ve seen kūpuna, elders, roll their eyes when they hear his recordings.  And I can understand them–he takes a classic in a very new direction.

And most of the time, I might be tempted to agree with them.  Why “fix” something that isn’t broken, right?

But Nathan is a musician of the highest caliber.  He presents these classic songs in a new light.  He totally respects the original composition.  When I listen to him, I don’t hear anything that smacks of “arrogance.”  In fact, it’s like he’s paying homage to the songs’ original composers by bringing them into the contemporary spotlight.

The more I listen to it, the more I love it.  I love the fusion factor–all of the instruments (is that a marimba?!) and percussion he uses in this song.  I’m blown away.

New directions for classic/traditional paths.  Interesting to explore, for sure.

*Please click HERE to visit Nathan Aweau’s website.

3. Anahaki (Amy Hānaialiʻi’s recording on the album Generation Hawaiʻi)

Another upbeat, uptempo song that has been rocking my little corner of the world this week!

This song, written by Amy Hānaialiʻi (with the Hawaiian translation by Kaumakaiwa Kanakaʻole!) makes me smile.

I don’t want to reveal too much–buy the album and read the liner notes!–but the song details a love affair and references the famous ʻiwa bird that resides on Molokai.

It’s a contemporary song that feels like a classic hula written a long time ago.  Amy, as always, delivers.  Love it!

*Please click HERE to visit Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom’s website.

4. Waikaloa (Peter Ahia’s recording on the album Peter Sings)

I love this hula classic!  I have so many recordings of it.  And this week, it’s Peter Ahia’s version that has won me over.

I love the sweet quality in his voice.  I love his enthusiasm.  And I love his interpretation of this mele.  (And according to the album’s liner notes, Aunty Genoa Keawe loved his singing, too!)

It makes me smile when I hear it.  (And it makes me think of my good buddy, Ms. Marian, who loves this song.)

5. Pua Sadinia (Ray Kāne’s recording on the album Punahele)

I love kī hōʻalu (slack key guitar) music.

And this song, handled so deftly in Uncle Raymond’s masterful hands, is a true treasure.  Wow…

NYC has a way of beating a person up at times–physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  And when that happens, I turn to recordings like this.  A gentle salve for the wounds.  And it helps to recharge the battery, too.

Uncle Raymond Kāne’s recordings are to be listened to–and enjoyed–over and over, again.

*Please click HERE to read the album’s liner notes.

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!

0 Comments

The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 3″ (9.1.10)

Wednesday, September 1, 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!

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

1. Maka ʻĀlohilohi (Kawai Cockett’s recording on the album Hula! Hula! Hula!)

In researching this hapa-haole song, I read that it was written for the composer’s daughter. Maka ʻālohilohi is her name and it means “twinkling eyes.”

There’s something so special about a name song. What a treasured gift! And to think that it was composed by a father for his daughter… wow. I can only imagine!

And its simplicity makes it a perfect song that begs for a hula!

2. Kuʻu Hoaloha (Weldon Kekauoha’s recording on the album Ka Lehua ʻUla)

This song, composed by Victor Kala, was written to honor the home of Mrs. Helen Tam. It sounds like it was a wonderful home to visit! The lyrics sing of the great hospitality offered to guests as well as the beauty of the home and land, itself. Incredible.

There are a lot of great versions of this song that have been recorded, but Weldon’s is the one that I’m hooked on this week. His gentle, smooth and rich tones are fantastic. I’m instantly transported away from the concrete island of Manhattan when I listen to his voice.

3. Summer Lady (Cecilio & Kepono’s recording on the album Elua)

Ok. It’s September. The kids are heading back to school. Yellow school busses will be on the road soon. Summer Lady = I HAD pick this song!

This C & K classic is so cool with its ultra ’70s vibe and sound. It makes me feel like I’m driving along the coast looking at a clear blue sea. It embodies the sounds of summer–which will soon be a memory here in NYC once the leaves start to change.

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

1 Comment

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 3 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Kīkaha Mālie (Chris Yeaton’s recording on the album Kīkaha Mālie)

This is one of my favorite pieces that my good friend and gifted guitarist, Chris Yeaton, has recorded. A stunning guitar solo.

He is such a talented musician! A student of John Keawe and Keola Beamer, his music prowess never ceases to amaze me. This song, the title track from his 2003 album, is a killer! It sets the tone of the album and succeeds in painting pictures with sounds… like a seabird gliding along peacefully.

Today is Chris’ birthday. Please join me in wishing this excellent musician HAUʻOLI LĀ HĀNAU!

And please check out his page at Woodsong Acoustics Group.

**Crooner Update: Chris’ album IS available on Woodsong Acoustics Group website!

2. Wahine Uʻi (Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenaders’ recording on the album, The Wandering Troubadours)

I love this song! And I can’t get enough of Andy Cummings’ version. Pure delight. I think his falsetto and lyrical voice are both fantastic. And the way that this song bounces along, well, it makes me grin. I can picture a dancer helping to illustrate the song’s lyrics about a woman’s beauty with her hands, body and face. Makes me want to be in Waikīkī right now.

In the research I did, I found discrepancies, of course! It’s credited to two different people: John Kameaaloha Almeida and Johnny Noble. Let’s face it–studying Hawaiian music is a lesson in learning to say “Okay…” as you hear different versions of each story. To this listener, it’s not as important WHO wrote it. I’m just glad SOMEONE did!

3. In A Little Hula Heaven (Darlene Ahuna’s recording on the album Bridge Between Generations)

This crooner classic, written for the 1937 film Waikiki Wedding, is such a gem! And Darlene Ahuna’s version of it is perfect–simple and bright and lively and light. You can’t ask for better than that.

I’m kind of “hooked” on this song. I’ve been singing it all over the place as I make my way around NYC. I wonder what the people on the street think as I’m walking around singing it. Ah… who cares?! It makes me smile!

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

0 Comments

A Midnight Phone Call

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I was surprised when my phone started ringing last night at midnight.

Who would be calling me at that hour? Something had be wrong.

I threw off the blanket and turned on the lights.

My heart was pounding and my blood pressure shot up. I was in full “fight or flight” mode. When I looked at my caller ID, I was relieved–it was an (808) number. Hawaiʻi calling. And, because there’s currently a 6 hour time difference, it made perfect sense. Bedtime in NYC = dinner time in Hawaiʻi.

Whew!

And then I was shocked to see WHO the caller was. It was my teacher! It was Pops!

If I’m lucky enough to catch him when he’s “out of the Valley” (remember: Hālawa Valley doesn’t have a telephone!) we usually catch up on another night–not Mondays. What a wonderful surprise!

He had been out visiting. He couldn’t talk for very long. I couldn’t get all of the details, but they didn’t matter. I was just so happy to be talking with him.

Even a few moments are valuable!

I was able to “plug into the source.”

I was able to hear what’s happening back on Molokai. I was able to tell him about a few things that have been happening here.

And I was able to speak a little Hawaiian!

See, I’m not a native speaker of ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. I’m not even a GOOD speaker of the Hawaiian language. My skills are rudimentary, at best. But it’s not all that often that I can just launch into a Hawaiian/English conversation living here in NYC!

We’ve been spoiled this past year by having a master language teacher living here in the Big Apple. Kumu Manuwai Peters has been teaching language classes. It’s such a gift to have him here–for so many reasons. And I’ve been doubly blessed to have the opportunity to serve as his kōkua, his assistant, in the classes. We actually speak Hawaiian here in the New York City!

But–at least for now–most of the conversations take place in the classroom. So to have Pops surprise me with a phone call as I’m getting ready to retire for the night–AND have him launch into his native Hawaiian–well, it’s such a treat! I didn’t have any time to prepare. I didn’t have a chance to think about what I’d say.

We just spoke.

When I stumbled for words, I switched to English. OR… I found another way to say what I was thinking. Pops is a very patient teacher. I’m SURE I butcher the language with some of things I say, but he always lets me find my way. I stutter and and I stammer, but I somehow find a way to make myself understood. He says that’s what’s important. I couldn’t agree more!

It’s interesting to see what words come naturally… what words I REALLY know and understand. And it’s equally interesting to see where I have HUGE GAPS in my linguistic knowledge! Auē! Thank goodness I’m not depending on Hawaiian as my language of survival! (At least not yet!)

It was a short conversation. It was a valuable conversation.

And I loved every minute of it.

How do YOU plug into your source?

3 Comments