"Pure & Simple" By Herb Ohta, Jr.

Herb Ohta, Jr.
“Pure & Simple”

Koa Records (KOA 102)

1999 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Nominee:
(Best Instrumental of the Year)

1999 Hawai’i Music Awards Winner:
(Best Instrumental of the Year)

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PRODUCER(S): Herb Ohta, Jr. & Charley Lukela
ENGINEERING & MIX: Charley Lukela

Kimo Bell: Bass
Mark Yim: Guitar
Michael Guerrero: Keyboards / Sequence
Gregg Sardinha: Steel Guitar
Julie Patao.: Violin
Roy Hamada
: Keyboards / Sequence

The Honolulu Advertiser
February 19, 2000

Review By Wayne Harada

Herb Ohta, Jr. was destined to become a master of the ‘ukulele; after all, his dad, affectionately known as Ohta-san, is one of Hawaii’s eminent ‘ukulele virtuosos.

With Pure and Simple, Ohta, Jr. surely has come of age. Previously, dad and son jammed together, this one is Junior’s journey all the way.

He mixes island standards such as “Kaulana O Hilo Hanakahi,” the Lena Machado trademark, with pop favorites ranging from the recent (Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One”) to the past (Cat Stevens’ “Wild World”).

It’s all romantic fare, with a number of nimble fingerings that clearly express his gift. The “Finger Exercise” tune is a kick, a playful little ditty almost in the slack-key realm.

The Star Bulletin
December 3, 1999

Island Mele
Review By John Berger

Herb Ohta Jr. reaffirms the versatility of the ukulele as he plays Hawaiian and hapa-haole standards, Top 40, Latin and pop tunes. Ohta and co-producer Charlie Lukela do a remarkable job incorporating other instruments -- guitar, bass, violin, steel guitar, and various synthetics -- while always keeping the focus on Ohta's uke as the lead instrument.

A synthetic rhythm section actually provides an interesting contrast to the clean organic sound of the uke on "Conga."

If the reggae-beat remake of "Wild World" with synthesized horn tracks gets Ohta some play on Hawaii's "island music" radio stations he'll be introducing his music to a new audience.