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Posts Tagged ‘Gary Aiko’

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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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!**

off

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. The Hawaiian Wedding Song (Ke Kali Nei Au) (Alfred Aholo Apaka’ recording on the album Hawaiian Wedding Song)

The golden voice of Hawaiian crooner Alfred Aholo Apaka never disappoints me.

And this song, sung as a beautifully touching duet with Diana Moncado, is–well–it knocks my socks off.  Amazing.  Amazing.  Amazing.  Such control.

Wow.

So beautiful, this song.

Some say it’s not the original Hawaiian Song.  And that leads us to the next selection.

2. Lei Aloha Lei Makamae (Aunty Genoa Keawe’s recording on the album Among My Hawaiian Souvenirs)

Aunty Genoa sings this duet with her son, the amazing baritone crooner, Gary Aiko.  Wow.

I mean it:  W.O.W.

Amazing voices singing an amazing song.

I was told by several folks in Hawaii that THIS is the original Hawaiian Wedding Song and not Ke Kali Nei Au… and who am I to argue, right?  I just keep learning and growing.  That’s my job.  (I think we need to discuss this in more detail, don’t you?  Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post!)

This piece, written by the incomparable Charles E. King, has some of the most beautiful lyrics I’ve ever read.

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

3. Kaimuki Hula (Ata Damasco’s recording on the album Paʻina Hou!)

Are you looking for an amazing hula tune with some of the smoothest vocals (and falsetto!) you’ll ever hear?  Well, this is your song!

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the voice (and ʻukulele stylings) of Mr. Ata Damasco.  So smooth.  So seemingly effortless.  I wanna sing like him someday!

*Please click HERE to read more about Ata Damasco on his page on the Ululoa website.

4. Pua Pakalana (The Hula Honeys’ recording on the album Life Just Got Sweeter)

I love the sweet sounds of The Hula Honeys!  And this song, penned by Robyn Kneubuhl, is so dreamy!  I mean it… Heavenly. Ethereal.

According to the album’s liner notes, she wrote the song about the Pakalana flower as it reminds her of her grandmother.

If you close your eyes, I think you’ll be able to see a hula being danced to it.

Sounds that remind of us of “yesteryear” being sung today by a duo of amazing musicians like Robin Kneubuhl and Ginger Johnson.  Yes, please.

*Please click HERE to visit The Hula Honeys’ website.

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

One of my favorite composers/performers is Uncle Dennis.  And he’s such a great mentor for all things Hawaiian.  A true source!

In this recording, he shares the song based on an chant that honors King David Kalākaua.  The recording is like a jam session–including Uncle Dennis’ amazing slack key guitar skills, David Kamakahi’s sparkling ʻukulele stylings and Uncle Dennis’ golden baritone voice.

Wow… imagine what it would have been like to be a fly on the wall in that recording studio when they recorded it!

*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!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

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

2 Comments

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. Island Style (John Cruz’s recording on the album Acoustic Soul)

It seems like EVERYONE knows this song–whether you listen to Hawaiian music or not! And there’s a great reason for that: it’s a GREAT song. An instant classic.

According to what I’ve found in my research, John wrote this song while living in NYC and was feeling homesick. I think he was absolutely successful in creating an true island vibe with this piece. If I listen to it while I’m away from the islands, it’s a bittersweet experience. It makes me think about being there–and that kinda stings a bit when I’m somewhere else! But if I hear it while I’m in the islands, it makes me so very happy to be there–doing things “island style.”

I used to listen to it all the time–long before I’d made my first trip to the islands. It gave me a glimpse into her people and her way of life. That’s a successful song, wouldn’t you say?

2. Kuʻu Ipo Pua Rose (Nā Palapalai’s recording on the album Makani Oluʻolu)

Absolutely one of most beautiful Hawaiian love songs. The lyrics in this, written by John Kameaaloha Almeida, are simple and SO romantic. A song of love for two lovers that have spent the night together and will soon be greeting the dawn.

Please check out this recording–and read along with the lyrics if you can find ‘em! You’ll love it. I know it…

3. Nā Lei O Hawaiʻi (Gary Aiko’s recording on the album Mai Poina ʻOe Iaʻu)

Gary Aiko’s voice is velvety and rich and is a PERFECT example of what a Hawaiian Crooner should be! I love his recordings and listen to them all the time. He utilizes all of the vocal embellishments–like swooping aportamenti–that really define the crooner style. Pure genius! (And as the son of Aunty Genoa Keawe, he’s truly been “steeped” in Hawaiian music.)

This song, written by Charles E. King, tells of the eight major islands that make up the state of Hawaiʻi and mentions some distinguishing landmarks and island chiefs. Hence, it’s also called “The Song of the Islands.” And like the song Nani Waiʻaleʻale, it’s like Wikipedia set to music. How can you wrong?

Gary Aiko is a true treasure and one of my crooner heroes!

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

2 Comments