"Take 1" By Jon Yamasato & Herb Ohta, Jr.

Herb Ohta, Jr. & Jon Yamasato
“Take 1”

Lele Music Productions
(LMPCD 1004)

Stacks Image 111674





Executive Producer - Jon Yamasato
Producers - Jon Yamasato, Herb Ohta, Jr., Michael Grande
Engineering & Mixing - Michael Grande
Mastering - Dave Tucciarone
Photography - Michael Torres
Graphics - Shayna Kusumoto
Recorded at: Studio Ala Moana

Jon Yamasato - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Herb Ohta, Jr. - ‘Ukulele
Richard Gideon - Bass, Background Vocals
Sean Pimental - Bass, Drums
Jon Porlas - Percussions


“Take One” is the first collaboration of two well known local artists - Herb Ohta Jr. and Jon Yamasato.  In this day of economic stress and global turmoil, “Take 1” will transport one back to the past or as one of the tracks reflects “. . .when our world was small enough for dreams”.  Old local favorites - “Hanalei Moon”, “Hi'ilawe”, “Paniolo County”, “Nani Ko'olau”, ”Maika'i Ka Makani O Kohala”, and oldie but goodie “Under the Boardwalk” are beautifully cast in this CD by Herb Ohta Jr.  Vocal's by Jon Yamasato contributes to the theme of this CD with past local favorites – “Kuu Home O Kahalu'u”, “Maori Brown Eyes”, “Star of Gladness”, and “Mahina O Hoku”, as well as “Nani Iapana” a Dennis Kamakahi original.  As a bonus, Jon also includes a contemporary original – “Back to You”.  Simply said, this CD displays the talent and artistry of two young local performers who enjoy playing easy listening music.  Enjoy!!!  As for more in the future?  Hana hou!!!

Sheldon Yamasato

Star Advertiser
Saturday, July 30, 2010

Island Mele
Review By John Berger

Stacks Image 160

Ohta-Yamasato Pairing is a Winner!

Herb Ohta Jr. has made memorable recordings with slack key guitarist Keoki Kahumoku and also with Grammy Award-winning musician/producer Daniel Ho. His new project with Jon Yamasato -- released almost simultaneously with Ohta Jr.'s solo CD -- is equally significant.

It has been almost 10 years since Yamasato used a Thanksgiving Day column drop in The Honolulu Advertiser to inform Hawaii -- and the other members of Pure Heart -- that he was quitting the group and going back to school. Yamasato resurfaced as a recording artist almost immediately, and he's been active since then as a record producer and mentor of younger acts as well.

Yamasato's most important contribution to Pure Heart was his voice, and although he plays several instruments, it is his voice that is the essential ingredient here. Yamasato's voice was as important to Pure Heart as Lokapa Colon's percussion and Jake Shimabukuro's charisma. There's a sense of that old-time feeling as Ohta, Yamasato and percussionist Jon Porlas open with a Yamasato original, "Back to You." Yamasato also sings on a remake of "Ku'u Home o Kahalu'u" that brings no new ideas to Jerry Santos' musical signature -- but is beautifully done nonetheless. Yamasato's distinctive voice still charms. Other selections are performed as instrumentals. Yamasato and Ohta personalize contemporary hapa-haole standards such as "Paniolo Country" and "Hanalei Moon." It's beautiful work by both of them.