CD Reviews: Waipuna and Uluwehi Guerrero
(Tropical Music Inc.)
Waipuna may be a new group, but there’s no shortage of experience on this CD. Kale Hannahs formerly played as a bassist with the award-winning group Alea, and Matthew Sproat won the 2003 Hawaii Island Falsetto Contest. The two also have a roster of local heavy hitters to call on, including John Cruz, Chino Montero and Aaron J. Salā. All that talent pays off; this is a seriously entertaining debut, with consistently strong performances. Recommended.
Uluwehi Sings Na Mele Hula Aloha
It’s been eight years since Guerrero’s last album, and the kumu hula and musician marks his return with a trip back through the “beloved hula songs” that inspired him in his career. Some are rarely recorded gems, others well-known standards. Guerrero does each one justice. It’s obvious he’s been living with these songs for years now, and his delicate voice keeps the mood light and relaxed throughout.