"Take 2" By Jon Yamasato & Herb Ohta, Jr.

Herb Ohta, Jr. & Jon Yamasato
“Take 2”

Lele Music Productions
(LMPCD 1009)

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

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

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Friday May 19, 2013

Island Mele
Review By John Berger

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The old adage "never say never" could have been written for Jon Yamasato. He was going from success to success as the voice and guitarist of Pure Heart when he notified the other members of the group — via a mention in a Thanksgiving Day newspaper column — that he was leaving music. Six months later he was making music with other artists.

One of Yamasato's most productive post-Pure Heart partnerships has been with Herb Ohta Jr. The talented duo evokes memories of Pure Heart here. Veteran percussionist Jon Porlas supports the zesty interplay between Yamasato's acoustic guitar and Ohta's ukulele just as percussionist Lopaka Colòn backed Yamasato and Jake Shimabukuro in Pure Heart. The difference here is bassist Richard Gideon; he adds "bottom" to the arrangements and gives the de facto quartet a second voice as well.

The selections include imaginative arrangements of traditional Hawaiian songs, newly written Ohta instrumentals and a pair of pop-chart remakes. "Take on Me," the A-ha hit from the '80s, is presented as an instrumental showcase for Ohta; with "Waiting in Vain," Ohta and Yamasato successfully repurpose a reggae classic as a pop tune. "Tropical Lady," originally a hit for Kapena in the '80s, lets Ohta show he can also rock it as a pop "island music" musician.