Album: How About Uke?: Wizards Of The Ukulele
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||Kukuna Oka La
||Ka Ua Oku
||Kilakila `o Halekala
||Adventures In Paradise
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Talk about ukulele in Hawaii, and inevitably, four names pop up:
Eddie Kamae, acknowledged to be a musician's musician, a uke whiz totally immersed in his work.
Ohta-san (Herb Ohta), ukulele virtuoso with a definitive touch widely exposed on the Mainland.
Jesse Kalima, an old pro with a confident sound that's happy and rhythmic.
Eddie Bush, a specialist in the smooth, mellow stylings.
Ukulele magic is all in the hands, and these four experts true wizards of the uke let their hands do the talking. Listen to this baker's dozen of ukulele gems. This is the sound of Hawaii. Romance. Paradise, Aloha.
Kamae is a skillful musician and an integral part of the popular Sons of Hawaii. While he limits his public appearances in recent months, he has not lost contact with Hawaii's rich musical past. The Hawaiian Music Foundation, set up to preserve and perpetuate Island songs, recently awarded Kamae a grant to conduct research on music. Why is he so dedicated in this phase of Hawaiian music? Simply because he IS a son of Hawaii, and he believes in the perpetuation of Hawaiian folklore and songs, for future generations to share.
Ohta-san is a soft spoken artist who says it all in his fingertips. He makes the uke speak a romantic language and true virtuoso that he is, he's done a lot of groundwork in Hawaii to establish the ukulele as a solo instrument. Known for his national hit, "Song for Anna," Ohta-san also is a veteran of night spots in Waikiki. He's cool. He's super. As the Japanese would put it, he's ichi-ban, No. 1.
Kalima comes from an extremely musical family. Ever hear of the "Thousand Pounds of Melody"? He is one of the originators of this one-time brother act the name, of course, referring to the hefty proportions of the Kalimas. Jesse once weighed 330 pounds, has dipped to about 270. He's played in clubs all over Waikiki, and even backed Nalani Kele when she first premiered her show at the Stardust Lounge in Las Vegas. Kalima, indeed, is a musical heavyweight. A pro.
Bush is a part-time musician he works at a bank during the day. But his avocation has gained him quite a bit of fame in Hawaii, where he often entertains in luau shows. He has a widely varied repertoire. And a credible track record of appearances at numerous Waikiki hotels plus Johnny Carson's "Tonight" show. His craftsmanship is extraordinary: his styling, sensitive.
So there you are: The wizards of the uke.
-Wayne Harada, Entertainment Editor, The Honolulu Advertiser
1. LILIU E Jesse Kalima
2. KAWOHIKUKAPULANI Ohta-san
3. KUKUNA OKA LA Jesse Kalima
4. AKAKA FALLS Eddie Kamae
5. KA UA OKU Eddie Kamae
6. BLUE HAWAII Eddie Bush
7. KILAKILA '0 HALEAKALA Jesse Kalima
8. NAN I KOOLAUJesse Kalima
9. PUA MAEOLE Ohta-san
10. PAAUAU WALTZ Eddie Kamae
11. KAMEHAMEHA WALTZ Eddie Kamae
12. ADVENTURES IN PARADISE Eddie Bush
13. ALOHA OE Eddie Kamae