Sweet soul from the Hawaii scene of the 70s – a surprisingly strong source of well-crafted, warmly-produced grooves – all with a special sort of sparkle that reminds us a lot of the best Bay Area or LA sounds of the time! There's a sunny vibe to the music that really belies its roots – a blend of jazz, soul, funk, and more – all handled with production that's few notches down from the slicker AOR material of the period, which still lets all the more soulful currents shine through nicely – and which keeps all this stuff from ever sounding too commercial. Given the cultural cross-currents taking place on the islands at the time, there's a surprising mix of backgrounds to some of these groups – which results in a unique sound that's nicely colorblind, and which stands as a bit of a contrast to some of the more defined scenes on the mainland. As always with Strut Records, the track selection and presentation is wonderful – with plenty of notes that illuminate the music – and titles include "Sparkle" by Greenwood, "Get That Happy Feeling" by Lemuria, "Countryside Beauty" by Tender Leaf, "Yesterday's Love" by Aura, "Kawaihae" by Brother Noland, "Feel Like Getting Down" by Nova, "Love One Another" by Mike Lundy, "Coast To Coast" by Rockwell Fukino, and "Call Me" by Hal Bradbury. CD
Ahhhhh . . . For a sunny day in Honolulu, circa 1976! The tunes on this set perfectly sum up the feel of the Hawaiian scene of the mid 70s – smooth blend of jazzy riffing, well-produced vocals, and soulful songwriting with a sweet AOR finish. There's a surprisingly great depth to this set – pleasing to our 70s AM radio ears as much to our smooth soul ones – with a total of 15 obscure titles that include "Thoughts Of You", "Sunny Days", and 5 more by Kalapana, plus "All I've Got To Give" by Lemuria, "You're Young" and "Catherine" by Mackey Feary Band, "Pra Voce" by Pacific Coast Jam, "Countryside Beauty" by Tender Leaf, and "New Years Eve 1976" and "Kona Day" by Summer. CD
(2002 Japanese pressing, part of the Soft & Mellow collection – includes obi!)
Rock-solid work from a rock-solid drummer – the mighty Joe Farnsworth, working here with a core trio that includes Kenny Barron on piano and Peter Washington on bass, plus guest trumpet from Wynton Marsalis on four of the album's ten tracks! The Marsalis presence is nice, but we almost like the trio tracks even better – as it feels like Farnsworth, Barron, and Washington have really found their groove – at a level that's different than some of Joe's recordings with more familiar partners – like David Hazeltine and John Webber – looser, more open at times, and really showing off some different sides of Farnsworth's rhythmic conception. Titles include "One For Jimmy Cobb", "Monk's Dream", "Time Was", "The Good Shepherd", "Hesitation", "Darn That Dream", "Lemuria", and "Star Crossed Lovers". CD
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