“A Place Called Hawaii 2”
review by d. lawrence haynes

“A Place Called Hawaii 2” is a delicious sampler of Hawaiian music.  From the innocent “tourist” styled tunes to some of the more esoteric music of Hawaii, you will get a feeling of what it’s like to be in the Islands. 

The disc begins comfortably enough with the title track followed by a gorgeous ballad, Peter Moons’ rendition of “The Sand And The Sea” featuring Pauline Wilson on vocals. Danny Kaleikini offers “Lahaina Luna” as a creamy intro to one of the first treasures of this disc, Dennis Pavaos (Hawaii’s Golden Falsetto Voice) version of “My Yellow Ginger Lei.”  What a voice.

From here we continue the combination of contemporary and traditional Hawaiian music from the relative safety of “’Aina” by Kahala Moon, “Island Girl” by surfer, disc jockey Allan Thomas and “Crushed Flowers In My Lei” by Teresa Bright, and other artists like Darlene Ahuna singing “Kalamaula” a sweet traditional tune that would be home at any luau. Also included are Joe Recca, Sunday Manoa, Jay Larrin, George Helm and several other artists who have added so much to the landscape of Hawaiian music, but there are buried treasures here!!!

Legendary slack key guitarist Gabby Pahinui (playing a steel guitar on this track) gives a lesson in restraint and swing with “How D’Ya Do” which is followed by the Peter Moon Band with a terrific version of “On A Little Street In Singapore”.  As the liner notes indicate this track is a “gotta have” song. 

Then there’s “Roselani” by Ken Emerson, the only Hawaiian Tango I’ve heard, and judging from this inventive and cleanly played tune, there should be more. Lorna Lim and Kohala deliver the stunning ballad “Mokihana Lullaby” with such a gentle touch it makes you want to weep.  The clarity of the vocals and the delicate touch of the guitar make this simple tune soar. 

Country Comfort comes up with a delightful surprise with their reading of “Manha De Carnival”.  They give this Luis Bonfa “bossa nova” classic a great reading and illustrate that Island guitar playing need not be limited to slack key exclusively. Charles Brotman and Sistah Robi Kahakalau combine on one the most compelling songs on this set.  A lullaby of heartbreaking purity and simplicity, it is transporting in its elegance “When Pueo Flies” is worth the price of admission…'Nuff said.

Over all a nice “comfortable” sampler of the music of the Islands…a little too broad in its’ scope but it’s pleasant and has enough true gems to make it a worthwhile addition to your collection…

2 ½ stars for the attempt but 4 stars for including some fine shit!

A Place Called Hawaii 2 on Cord International

"A Place Called Hawaii 2"
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d. lawrence haynes is way too cool to use capital letters.

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