Brittni Paiva, Hear ..., Talmidim Productions
Brittni Paiva's debut album, Brittni X3, won her a 2005 Na Hoku Hanohano award for Most Promising Artist of the Year. Not too shabby for a 16-year-old.
Hear ..., Paiva's followup, opens with a bold statement: a cover of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Take Five," in which Paiva plays every instrument but the drums, bass, keyboard, 'ukulele. She doesn't come close to the nuance and depth of the jazz standard's original rendition, but it's clear Paiva aims to make good on her Hoku.
She goes on to cover a more traditional range of songs, from Kui Lee's "Lahaina Luna" to Helen Parker's "Akaka Falls," but Paiva is at her best on this album when performing her own compositions. She's got three here, one co-written by Keoki Kahumoku, and while her playing is not as technically flawless as musical big brother Jake Shimabukuro's, she's getting there on spry hoedowns such as "'Ukulele Boogie."
Paiva has become such an accomplished instrumentalist, it's almost a surprise when she breaks into song on the closing track, a sweet devotional called "E Lohea Mai."
Apart from an unfortunate Shania Twain cover, Hear ... is a solid collection of 'uke classics, both new and old. Paiva is going places.