Show and Tell Hawai'i

Island Sounds: Christmas by Sista Robi, ukulele soloists

December 22nd, 2010

In an earlier blog, we reviewed Willie K’s “Willie Wonderland” Christmas CD.
In a state where culture is unique and special, here are two more holiday albums for Christmas 2010.
Consider this a holiday Island Sounds wrap.
So visit a music store in-between your yuletide shopping, and give either or both a try:

“An Island Christmas,” Sistah Robi, Neos Productions

Robi Kahakalau, aka Sistah Robi, is a former Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner and thus brings an nner-circle pedigree to her holiday calvacade.
She brings out the holiday mana’o on “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Christmas Island,” “Holiday Hula,” “Blue Christmas” and “Blue Christmas.”
A note of solemnity taps warm emotions on “Silent Night,” the latter a multi-tongued wonderment (German, English, Hawaiian) with guitar solo by Jeff Rassmussen, and surely the highlight of the disc.
Heavenly and peaceful.

“An Ukulele Christmas,” various artists, Neos Productions

Ukulele strummers let their fingers do the talking, and there’s bountiful “chatter,” if you will, with the likes of Troy Fernandez, Taimane Gardner, Jan Luna, Gordon Freitas, Herb Ohta Jr., Kapena and Kalei Gamiao among the contributors here.
Titles include traditional carols like “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” “Silent Night,” “What Child Is This,” “Carol of the Bells” and “O Holy Night.” Plus pop classics like “Up on the House Top,” “White Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland” and “The Christmas Song.”
The method is simple, sweet, succinct — with precision in artistry outweight flashiness.
The perfect CD to accompany gift-opening ’round the Christmas tree.

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