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Various Artists - Legends Of The Ukulele: Hawaiian Masters

Legends Of The Ukulele -
Hawaiian Masters

Various Artists

HOCD 54000

Cord International/Hana Ola Records
PO Box 152
Ventura, CA 93002

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Linton Corbie

When I saw the title, Legends Of The Ukulele, I initially thought it was another CD, of the same name, featuring an all-star lineup of ukulele virtuosos that was released by ukulele aficionado, Jim Beloff, a few years ago. However, when I looked closer at the artists featured on this CD, I quickly realized that this is a whole different CD. Closer inspection of the CD title showed that it is called, Legends Of The Ukulele - Hawaiian Masters. As indicated by its title, this Legends Of The Ukulele CD focuses exclusively on today's top Hawaiian uke players.

For those whose exposure to the ukulele has been limited to the late Tiny Tim's rendition of, Tip-Toe Through the Tulips, you will be amazed at what intricate and sophisticated music this humble, little, four-stringed instrument is capable of reproducing when in the hands of a virtuoso player. Whether it be jazz, Latin, pop, classical, Hawaiian,... no matter the genre, these fellows play it on the uke with aplomb and authenticity. No kidding, you'll be so shocked, you'll find yourself wondering incredulously, "Is that REALLY a ukulele?"

Outstanding tracks include a tour de force rendition of J. P. Sousa's immortal, Stars And Stripes Forever, performed by a twelve year old uke wiz named, Imua Garza; Wilson Kanaka'ole's interpretation of the old, Latin classic, Sabor Ami; Lyle Ritz' take on the jazz standard, Lulu's Back In Town; Herb Ohta's "Song For Anna;" and Daniel Ho's sublime Pineapple Mango.

As if all this weren't enough, the CD comes with extensive liner notes that provide an history of the ukulele, biographical data on each performer, and scores of color photos showing rare, vintage, and uniquely-designed ukuleles.

Legends Of The Ukulele - Hawaiian Masters is a wonderfully packaged homage to the ukulele that is ideal both for anyone who is new to the uke, as well as, seasoned ukulele enthusiasts.

Track List:

  • Stars And Stripes Forever (Opihi Pickers Featuring Imua Garza)
  • Pineapple Mango (Daniel Ho)
  • Slack Key Uku (Ken Emerson)
  • Gypsy Ukulele (Acoustic Soul Featuring Mikel Okouchi)
  • Dueling Banjos (`Ale'a Featuring Ryan Gonzalez)
  • Lulu's Back In Town (Lyle Ritz)
  • Kona Wind (Herb Ohta, Sr. (Ohta-San))
  • Ka Wailele O Nu'uanu (Benny Chong)
  • Sabor Ami (Wilson Kanaka'ole)
  • A`Oia (Kimo Hussey)
  • Song For Anna (Herb Ohta, Sr. (Ohta-San))
  • Honeysuckle Rose (Nedward And Keoki Kaapana)
  • Blue Hawaii (Eddie Bush)
  • `E Liliu `E (Jessie Kalima)
  • Lyle Smiles (Jim Beloff (Hal Blaine (Drums))
  • Granada (Na `Oiwi Featuring David Kamakahi)
  • Kaulana O Hilo Hanakahi (Herb Ohta, Jr.)
  • Ka Ua Loku (Eddie Kamae)
  • Honu's Dream (Jake Shimabukuro And Charles Michael Brotman)
  • Kawohikukapulani (Herb Ohta, Sr. (Ohta-San))
  • Lover - Lady Of Spain (Medley) (Nedward Kaapana)
  • Stardust (Bill Tapia)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2003, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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