Media Review: Robert Cazimero CD and Mai Lepera book
Hula 2 • Robert Cazimero • Mountain Apple Co.
Another solo release from one-half of the Brothers Cazimero, this time a companion piece to his 2011, Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning collection of hula standards. Once again, the setup is simple, just Robert’s voice and piano on stately arrangements of well-loved classics such as “Holoholo Ka‘a” and “Beyond the Reef.” For fans of modern hula, though, or anyone looking for relaxing Hawaiian music (“the ones cleaning house and driving and in need of drifting,” as the liner notes put it), it’s a worthwhile follow-up.
Mai Lepera • Kerri A. Inglis • University of Hawaii Press
The century-long quarantine of Hansen’s disease sufferers on Kalaupapa has been receiving much scholarly attention lately, with the release of a string of books that exhaustively document the tiny, isolated community with everything from photography to oral history. The latest such effort, Mai Lepera, focuses on the first 35 years of the quarantine, and its impact on the patients, 90 percent of whom were Native Hawaiian. It’s an absorbing social history of the intended and unintended consequences of 19th-century medical treatment in Hawaii, full of details and stories you’ve likely not heard before.