Listen to Jason:

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

Get Adobe Flash player

Posts Tagged ‘Kalapana’

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. Kona Daze (Dennis Pavao’s recording on the album All Hawaiʻi Stand Together )

I love the voice of  the crooner, Dennis Pavao!

This English language song usually makes me think of the Hawaiian group, Kalapana.    It was written by the legendary Malani Bilyeu.

And I usually think of Uncle Dennis Pavao singing more “traditional” Hawaiian songs.

However, I love this version that Uncle Dennis sang!  Love the soul he infuses it with.

Listening to it brings to mind the sunny dryness one finds on the island of Hawaiʻi in Kailua Kona–that heat and sunshine and blue water.  Ah… takes me there in my mind.

2. Mom (Elodia Kane’s recording on the album Tribute to Lena Machado)

Aunty Elodia Kane’s sweet soprano voice is one of my favorites.  And I love hearing her sing the songs of Aunty Lena Machado!  One sweet Hawaiian songbird honoring another!

This particular recording almost has a “Gershwin-feel” to it with the horns.  Or a theatrical piece from a classic Broadway show.  Love it.

The song, while written in English, really has a Hawaiian feel to it.  And it paints such a loving (and/or sad) portrait of what was happening in the South Pacific (and throughout the world!) when it was written.  According to another album’s liner notes, Aunty Lena Machado copyrighted the song  in June of 1944.  The soldiers and their letters home to their beloved mothers most certainly inspired this touching ballad.

It’s melody stays “up high” in the voice… making it a favorite of sopranos and falsetto (leo kʻiekiʻe) singers.

3. Ain’t No Big Thing (Kui Lee’s recording on the album The Extraordinary Kui Lee)

Triple love the fun sound of this song!  And Kui Lee–wow!

The album was recorded in 1966, I think.  And it has all of the earmarks of the era.  Organ, whistles, fantastic guitar, fun percussion.  It’s all in there.

We lost Uncle Kui too soon… I would love to be able to see what he would have created later in life.  I’m so glad we can rock out to his records!

4. Kaimana Hila (Darlene Ahuna’s recording on the album Classic Hula)

When I’m feeling “down in the dumps”–and yes!  Even Accidental Hawaiian Crooners have those kinds of days–I look to a classic, uptempo hula to help chase away the blues.

And this song, written by the amazing Charles E. King, is guaranteed to make me smile.  Like every time!

It describes some of the things one might see if one were to go holoholo (out cruising) in and around the Diamond Head side of the island of Oʻahu.  Fun!

And I love the controlled break in Darlene’s voice–maikaʻi that haʻi!  Hana hou!  Encore!

*Please click HERE to visit Darleneʻs website.

5. Hoʻokena (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.

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. Hiʻilawe ( The Aloha Pumehana Serenaders’ recording on the album Hula Gems)

From the opening strumming of the ukulele, I was hooked.  100%  (The strum reminds me of a strum one might hear on an Aunty Genoa Keawe recording.)

The classic song about the waterfall known as Hiʻilawe on Hawaiʻi Island gets such royal treatment by the Aloha Pumehana Serenaders.  Smooth. Crooner-ific.  And yet totally danceable!  Right on!

2. Mālama Mau Hawaiʻi (Amy ‘s recording on the album Hānaialiʻi)

Another song with a super-catchy, infectious strum!  And this one also has moments of Flamenco guitar!  Give it a listen and you’ll see what I mean.

This song really features the stellar voice of Amy Hānaialii Gilliom so beautifully–highlighting her middle-to-low range.  Showcasing the emotion she brings to a piece.  Like a friend of mine says, “Her voice is like butter!”

And it bears the unmistakeable stamp of Willie K. and his fantastic musicianship.  Those cleanly executed/articulated fast strums.  Such power and control!

*Please click HERE to visit Amy’s website.

*Please click HERE to visit Wille K’s website.

3. Blue Lei (Bill Akamuhou’s recording on the album Hukilau Hulas)

This is a classic hapa-haole tune!  Crooner-ific to ‘da max!

The first time I really remember hearing it–I mean really listening to the song and its lyrics–was when my friend, Liko, sang it at a party at Aloha Music Camp when it was still being held on the island of Molokai.  He jammed this sweet vintage tune and strummed the ʻukulele and melted everyone’s hearts.

It’s a tough one to strum, though!  Not a beginner’s tune on the ʻukulele–it’s got some complex chords.  (But totally worth the effort to learn it!)

*Please click HERE to read more about Bill Akamuhou on squareone.org.

4. Nightbird (Kalapana’s recording on the album Kalapana)

You guys know how much I love a good ’70′s vibe.

And this song OPENS with jazz flute!  Are you kidding me?  Awesome!

I mean this song just begs to be listened to while cruising along in a car with the windows down and warm trade winds blowing your  (feathered?) hair around.

Ah… Kalapana… Mahalo for the gift of this song.

*Please click HERE to check out Kalapana’s page at last.fm

5. E Kuʻu Morning Dew (Instrumental) (Steven Espaniola’s recording on the album Hoʻomaka)

I was listening to this song today and my heart said “YES!”–it’s so good!

This classic song, written by Eddie Kamae, is given the royal treatment by Steven Espaniola with beautiful (and complex!) ʻukulele playing.  Right on.

After the song had finished playing, I played it, again.  And again.  Yup.  Three times.  It’s that good.  Trust me.

*Please click HERE to visit Steven’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

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!

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

2 Comments

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!

off

The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 3″ (10.13.10)

Wednesday, October 13, 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. Kīpū Kai (Bill Kaiwa’s recording on the album NāMele Paniolo: Songs of Hawaiian Cowboys)

I love this song. And I think I only have 2 recordings of it in my collection. This is one of my all-time favorites because it’s done by a man very familiar with the Kīpū Kai ranch, Mr. Bill Kaiwa.

There’s something that’s so very genuine in his delivery… simple with just an ʻukulele to accompany him. I can’t stop listening to it.

The lyrics, written by Mary Kawena Pukui, describe the beauty of the ranch, the proud peacocks that strut around the property (a veiled reference to the cowboys themselves, perhaps?) and the warm hospitality of Mr. John (Jack) Waterhouse, the owner of the ranch. And the melody, composed by Maddy Lam, is one of those that will stick with you long after the song has ended.

The Hawaiian mele (song) class has been learning it here in NYC. I’ve had lots of opportunities to strum it and sing it lately. And every time we sing it, I fall in love with the song more and more.

2. Niʻihau (Nā Palapalai’s recording on the album Nanea)

This song, as with all of Nā Palapalai’s songs, makes me feel like I’ve been instantly transported to the islands. (And by islands, I mean the Hawaiian islands, of course!) Done in their signature style with soaring falsetto and lush harmonies, the song surrounds me and makes me feel warm–even in the autumnal chill that we’re having here in NYC. I love ‘em. Plain and simple.

This piece, written by Peter Kai Davis and John Kameaaloha Almeida, describes the beauty of the island of Niʻihau. Because Niʻihau is essentially a private island, getting to visit it is a rare treat, indeed. Something I hope to be able to do someday. (sigh)

I love this song. I know you will, too.

3. (For You) I’d Chase A Rainbow (Kalapana’s recording on the album Kalapana II)

Ok… those of you who have been reading this blog know I have a soft spot in my heart for the sounds of the ’70s. I can’t get enough of ‘em! And THIS SONG (which opens with the sounds of saxophone!) is so awesome! It’s moody with great chord changes and brilliant moments of both bright and dark. Hard to understand what I’m talking about? Listen to the song! It’ll make sense! I promise!

I love the group Kalapana. Their music will always be in constant rotation in my world… Their sounds make me want to ride around in a van. What?! Ha!

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

**Crooner Update: I just re-checked my iTunes and I have 3 different recordings of Kīpū Kai. And all 3 of ‘em spell the title a little differently: Kīpū Kai, Kipu Kai and Kipukai. Gotta love it!

1 Comment

Hawaiian Music at the Gym? (Part 2)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last month I posted about searching for the ULTIMATE PLAYLIST to listen to while I run on the treadmill at the gym.

I can’t stand the “cardio-pumping” mixes that have been produced specifically for the treadmill. They just weren’t what I was looking for.

Well…

I’ve been listening to tons of Hawaiian music while running and I’ve been LOVING it!

At first, I tried making my own mixes of tunes. And they were ok–but they weren’t great. It was like I was still stuck on trying to hit the ULTIMATE mix that would keep me going. What was the problem?

Finally, I asked myself “What are you looking for?”

I want to listen to a mix that might play on a Hawaiian radio station.

The songs don’t all have to be my favorites. They don’t even have to all be familiar! (Sometimes it’s even BETTER if I don’t know the song–it helps me learn it!)

So I built a playlist on iTunes using the “Genius” feature. I don’t know ANYTHING about computers or technology. But this was cool. I picked Gabby Pahinui’s song MOONLIGHT LADY and the computer picked 99 other songs from my collection that went with it.

The Verdict?

I listened to the mix today while I ran. I set the timer on the treadmill for the maximum amount of time (6o minutes at this gym) and pressed PLAY on the iPod.

One hour later, I was finished with a killer workout. And I was smiling from ear to ear. The mix was fantastic! It was like being able to stream Hawaiian 105 KINE on my iPod! (Maybe someday we’ll be able to do that. Until then, this is a good substitute!)

So I’m publishing it here for you with links to the albums!!

Here are the 16 songs that played over the course of the hour and the cool-down:

1. Moonlight Lady (Gabby Pahinui’s recording on the album, The Panini Collection)

2 Hanakeoki (Eddie Kamae & the Sons of Hawaiʻi’s recording on the album, Eddie Kamae: Sons of Hawaiʻi)

3. Sun Lite, Moon Lite (Country Comfort’s recording on the album, We Are The Children)

4. Kuʻu Home O Kahaluʻu (Olomana’s recording on the album, Like A Seabird in the Wind)

5. Kāwika (The Sunday Manoa’s recording on the album, Guava Jam)

6. Waika (The Brothers Cazimero’s recording on the album, The Best of the Brothers Cazimero)

7. Wai Paheʻe (Eddie Kamae & the Sons of Hawaiʻi’s recording on the album, Eddie Kamae: Sons of Hawaiʻi)

8. All Hawaiʻi Stand Together (Dennis Pavao’s recording on the album, All Hawaiʻi Stand Together)

9. Pua Maeʻole (Raiatea Helm’s recording ont he album, Sweet and Lovely)

10. Kona Daze (Kalapana’s recording on the album, Best of Kalapana Vol. 2 )

11. Lei Nani (Gabby Pahinui’s recording ont he album, The Panini Collection)

12. Seabreeze (Keola and Kapono Beamer’s recording on the album, Honolulu City Lights)

13. Hale Aliʻi O Waimaka (Amy Hanaialiʻi Gilliom & Willie K.’s recording on the album, Hawaiian Tradition)

14. Good Morning (Willie K.’s recording on the album, The Uncle In Me)

15. Kananaka (ʻAleʻa’s recording on the album, Take Me Home)

16. Jealous Guy (The Pahinui Brothers’ recording on the album, The Panini Collection)

So I think I’ll have some fun with this “Genius” playlist for a while. I’ve got 83 more songs to go before it repeats! Cool!

What do YOU listen to when you exercise?

**Crooner Note: PLEASE SUPPORT HAWAIIAN ARTISTS AND BUY HAWAIIAN MUSIC!! (Mahalo!)

5 Comments