Herb Ohta, Jr.
Lele Music Productions (LMPCD 1005)
(NINTH SOLO RECORDING)
Hawai'i Music Award Winner
"Best 'Ukulele Recording"
Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards Winner
"Instrumental of the Year"
Executive Producer - Lele Music Productions & ‘Ukulele Source
Producer - Herb Ohta, Jr.
Engineering & Mixing - Michael Grande
Mastering - David Ho, Audio Post & Picture
Photography - Ken Munakata
Graphics - Yuko Porter, Media etc.
Recorded at: Studio Ala Moana
Jon Yamasato - Guitar
Nathan Aweau - Bass
Jeff Au Hoy - Steel Guitar
Saturday, July 30, 2010
Review By John Berger
Quietly but effectively great again
Although Hawaii residents of a certain vintage might always associate the phrase "quietly but effectively" with former Gov. George Ariyoshi, it works equally well in describing the career trajectory of ukulele virtuoso Herb Ohta Jr. In the two decades since he first recorded professionally, "Herb Junior" has quietly but effectively established himself as one of the leading players of his generation. This appropriately titled album -- nahenahe translates as "sweet, melodious" -- displays his command of the instrument on an assortment of Hawaiian and hapa-haole standards. Each is beautifully executed.
Ohta sets the mood with an exquisite solo rendition of "Ku'u Pua i Paoakalani" and continues with "Na Pua Lei 'Ilima" and "Ka Pilina." Jeff Au Hoy (steel guitar), Nathan Aweau (bass) and Jon Yamasato (acoustic guitar) join him on various selections. Au Hoy provides subtle embellishments on "Pane Mai" and is featured more prominently on "Henehene Koa 'Aka."
"Over the Rainbow" is neither Hawaiian nor hapa haole in origin, but so many people elsewhere associate it with the islands that Ohta's solo rendition of the song fits the theme and closes the album on a soothing, tranquil note.