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Posts Tagged ‘Lei ‘Ohu’

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 (8.29.12)

Wednesday, August 29, 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.  Beyond The Reef (The Waikiki Hula Boys’ recording on the album Hula)

I scored a copy of this classic album from 1954 when it was released on CD–complete with Japanese liner notes!–a few years ago.  It’s awesome!

Voices are just “part of the band” in this group with simple “Ooohs.”  The lineup of musicians include: Harry Baty, Pua Almeida, Sam Kaapuni, Danny Stewart, Sam Koki, Bud Smith and Andy Iona!  How cool is that?

Super “period perfect” in sound–like stepping through a sound portal directly into 1954.  I love it.  Dreamy!

And this crooner classic song is given the royal treatment by these amazing musicians.

2. Pupule (Crazy) (Melveen Leed’s recording on the album Melveen’s County Hits)

I love Willie Nelsons’s country classic, CRAZY.  And I love the voice of Aunty Melveen.  Put ‘em together and you get an awesome combination!

But wait! It get’s even better!  Then she sings part of the song in Hawaiian!  Come on–how cool is that?  (Queen of Hawaiian Country, Aunty Melveen never disappoints.)

I always say that Hawaiian music and country music are close cousins.  And with this song, you can listen and see for yourself.

3. Lei ʻOhu (Ata Damasco’s recording on the album Paʻina Hou!)

Ah!  An uptempo, bouncy hula sung by one of my favorite voices, Ata Damasco!

Similar to some other songs, this song names a famous chief and the beloved flower lei attributed to nā moku ʻehā, the four islands of Oʻahu, Maui, Hawaiʻi Island and Kauaʻi.  But this song has a fantastic swing–it’s a standout AND it stands alone.  Right on!

*Please click HERE to visit Ata’s page at Ululoa Records.

4. Lehuaʻula (Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom & Willie K’s recording on the album Hawaiian Tradition)

When I took my first tentative steps in hula, I listened to this album all the time.  And, truth be told, I practiced basic hula hands and hula footwork to this song, too!

It always will hold a special place in my heart.

Amy’s wonderful and soothing voice–and the steady hula rhythm!–makes this an ideal song to play when practicing your steps.

*Please click HERE to visit Amy’s website.

*Please click HERE to visit Willie Ks website.

5. Kamalani (Herb Ohta Jr’s recording on the album ʻUkulele Dream)

This song has been inspiring me to pick up my ʻukulele this week.  To pick it up and PICK individual notes on the ʻukulele instead of strumming it.

I’m a simple strummer–but this song and Herb’s musical genius, makes me want to be able to pick.  To be more versatile on the ukulele.  To become a better instrumental player.

Gotta love being inspired!

(And this song always makes me think of my buddies Tommy and Kbelle.  Cheers, guys!)

*Please click HERE to visit Herb Ohta Jr’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. Mauna Kea (George Kainapau’s recording on the album Legends of Falsetto)

Want to learn how to sing a beautiful and flowing (legato) line?  Studying this recording will teach you, for sure!  The song, attributed to Mokihana Fernandez, is a classic Hawaiian ballad that delights in a slow and sleepy tempo.

And WOW!  The first time I listened to the stellar vocal talents of George Kainapau, I was blown away!  He sings with such control! I’m amazed each and every time.  And his falsetto NEVER waivers–it’s strong ’til the end!  (There’s a good reason he’s referred to as the “Hawaiian Falsetto King!”)  I’m a huge fan–no doubt about it.

2.  Lei ʻOhu (Ata Damasco’s recording on the album Paʻina Hou!)

It’s no secret that I love the amazing voice of Ata Damasco.  His phrasing of the lyrics, his seemingly-effortless falsetto, his joyful spirit–all of that makes for a wonderful recording.  And this song, attributed to George E. Akiu, is yet another fantastic vehicle for Ata’s distinctive sound.

It’s a song that celebrates the islands–each verse honoring a different island.  Upbeat and fun, it brings a smile to my face.

And CONGRATS to Ata on his Na Hoku Hanohano Award this year for his album Somewhere Up Ahead!  (Best Religious Album 2011)

3. Ipo Lei Manu (Lono’s recording on the album Old Style)

Uncle Lono’s voice is a familiar sound on the island of Molokai.  Perhaps that’s why he’s on my mind this week.

I love this classic love song, written by Queen Kapiʻolani for her beloved huband, King Kalākaua.  This song has been recorded by so many artists!  And I love the way Lono delivers it–straightforward and direct.  Haunting and beautiful.

The song’s story (and a brief bio of Queen Kapiʻolani) can be found on the Huapala site–it’s so sad that King Kalākaua never heard its sweet melody…

4.  Makaha (The Kaʻau Crater Boy’s recording on the album Making Waves)

I was delighted to “rediscover” this song this week!  It was one of favorites when I first started listening to Hawaiian music–and it still is!

Written by the amazing Troy Fernandez, the song describes Mākaha, an area on the island of Oʻahu known for its legendary surf scene, and some of its best-known personalities.  (Author Stuart H. Coleman wrote a great book about Mākaha called FIERCE HEART–and it was our first selection in TAHC’s Book Club!  Click HERE to read more.)

The song fuses a Hawaiian vibe and a Jamaican/reggae vibe–a sound that dominated the airwaves when the album was released in 1996.  Contemporary island style!

When I listen to it, I imagine a great party on the beach.  How can you not love that?!

5.  (E Kuʻu) Morning Dew (Ray Kāne’s recording on the album Punahele)

I love kī hoʻalu (slack key guitar) music.  There’s something almost magical about it–something about the sound relaxes my mind, body and spirit.

And this recording by Uncle Ray Kāne is one of my favorites.  The song was written by the legendary Hawaiian musician Eddie Kamae.  (Kāne lists the song as simply “Morning Dew” on the album.)

As I’m writing up the TOP 5 list today, the sun is just coming up here in NYC.  I love looking out my window at a sleepy street.  Granted, I can’t see delicate morning dew from my window–but the song just feels “right” this morning.  Ah…

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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