Edit ModuleShow Tags

Music Review

Ka 'Upu Aloha, Aaron J. Sala, Hula Records


Published:

If you're a Hawaiian music fan, you've probably already heard Aaron J. Sala ... in the background, at least. He's lent his piano chops to albums by Na Palapalai and Raiatea Helm.

On Ka 'Upu Aloha, Sala steps into the spotlight with a collection of covers that capably runs the gamut from a new composition by Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole to an old chestnut by Rogers and Hart.

The album starts on a high note. "Hale a Kala," composed by Randie Kamuela Fong, features a gorgeous, bright melody, and Sala gives the track vigor and complexity.

Much of the rest of Ka 'Upu Aloha is quieter, piano-centered music. Your enjoyment of the album will depend on your tolerance for Sala's adult contemporary tendencies. He transforms the usually peppy "He 'Ono," for example, into a loungy stroll, but it's worth hanging around to hear Sala reinstate the song's original second chorus, which adds new depth and meaning. Turns out it's not really about tasty food.

The album's not all downtempo–Sala's take on Johnny Almeida's classic "'A 'Oia!" is a sparky romp, and the ipu heke percussion on "Ehuehu Mai Nei 'o Manoa" offers a perfect counterpoint to the song's strong chorus of male voices.

BOTTOM LINE:
An impressive and varied debut–Sala deserves his new position front and center.

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine June 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Trending

 

Colin Nishida, Beloved Chef and Restaurateur, Leaves a Culinary Legacy

Colin Nishida

An entire community remembers the owner of Side Street Inn.

 

Closing of Popular Lanikai Pillbox Hike Delayed Until Further Notice

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

The state asks for public input as it works to repair the old concrete observation stations on the trail, commonly known as “pillboxes.”

 

First Look: Panda Dimsum in Kalihi

Panda Dim Sum

Frogs, hedgehogs and bees, oh my! This spot dishes up cute, Instagrammable dumplings.

 

Kaimukī Gets da Shop, a New Kind of Bookstore and Event Space

Da Shop

It takes guts to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the days of instant online gratification, but in da Shop, local publisher Bess Press has found a way to allow fickle/loyal readers to have their cake and eat it, too.

 


20 Great O‘ahu Hikes

Explore 20 great adventures that offer beautiful vistas, waterfalls and more.

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags