Mele o Hawaii and Tony Conjugacion
Mele o Hawaii, Various Artists
This Starbucks compilation, which includes local hits such as Israel Kamakawiwoole’s “White Sandy Beach,” Kealii Reichel’s “Kawaipunahele” and Jake Shimabukuro’s take on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” makes for a reasonably good introduction to Hawaiian music. Just don’t rely on the liner notes for historical accuracy. There’s a reference, for example, to Palani Vaughan’s “1995 debut, Meet Palani Vaughan and the Sunday Manoa.”
Na Hula Punahele, Tony Conjugacion
(Mountain Apple Co.)
It’s all about the hula on this jam-packed disc from kumu hula Tony C. In 20 tracks of local dance standards, he manages to explore the breadth of the canon, from Hawaiian-language essentials such as “Pua Ahihi” to hapa-haole favorites such as “Sophisticated Hula” and even a few Conjugacion originals. The choral vocals on closer “Pua Lililehua” make it a highlight of the album.
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