CD Reviews: Keola Beamer and Weldon Kekauoha
Music reviews of Keola Beamer and Weldon Kekauoha.
Malama Ko Aloha
Slack key master Keola Beamer is on a collaborative roll. Following a 2010 album with Raiatea Helm, he’s brought in jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer and Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai for some cross-cultural conversation. The result is moody and evocative, whether it’s an all-grown-up take on his mother’s lullaby “Pupu Hinuhinu,” or a version of the traditional “E Manono.”
We recently named Weldon Kekauoha’s last release, the 2007 Ka Lehua Ula, as one of the best Hawaii albums of the new century. And now he’s back, with a collection of Hawaiian-language songs about love, affection and friendship. The instrumentation is simple, but the whole thing has a rich, warm feel, anchored by Kekauoha’s great voice. The new compositions by kumu hula Iliahi Paredes are standouts.