"'Ukulele Breeze" By Herb Ohta, Jr.

Herb Ohta, Jr.
“‘Ukulele Breeze”

Lele Music Productions (LMPCD 1001)

2004 Hawai‘i Music Awards Nominee
(Best Instrumental of the Year)

2004 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Nominee:
(Instrumental of the Year)

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EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Lele Music Productions
PRODUCER(S): Herb Ohta, Jr. & Charley Lukela
ENGINEERING & MIX: Charley Lukela

Steve Jones: Bass
Jon Yamasato: Guitar
Noel Okimoto: Percussions
Ronnie Esteban: Keyboards / String Arrangements
Barry Flanagan: Guitar
Shun Tanaka
: Drums
Kuni Nakai
: Bass

The Honolulu Advertiser
May 16, 2004

Review By Wayne Harada

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Genre: Instrumental 'ukulele; two vocals.

Distinguishing notes: Herb Ohta Jr. has emerged as one of a fistful of stellar 'ukulele wizards — Jake Shimabukuro is in this league — to carry on the tradition of the uke. Here, he assembles seven original compositions and puts his imprint on five "covers." He's demonstrated with singing, too, and a pair of vocal tracks are offered as "bonus" items in this feast for the ears. His touch, like his dad Herb "Ohta-san" Ohta's, is precise and controlled, with exquisite strumming that ultimately speaks a language of its own. The new cuts that impress are "Ocean of Dreams," "Beach Walk," "Tropical Delight" — wondrous eloquence from his pluckings — and the borrowed tunes ("Lei Pikake," "Sir Duke," "Europa") are masterfully interpreted. As a vocalist, Ohta Jr. is still a learner but demonstrates growing confidence and resourcefulness on "Pua Hone" and "Spend It With You."

The outlook: Great production values, appealing renderings of new and old 'ukulele jewels.

Our take:
Herbie rides again — and it's a satisfying journey.

The Star Bulletin
Friday May 28, 2004

Island Mele
Review By John Berger

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Herb Ohta Jr. takes another step forward as a recording artist and record producer with this album. There's a greater emphasis on original melodies, several imaginative arrangements of other composers' works, and two songs for fans of his vocal stylings. Ohta does a fine job with the Hawaiian lyrics of "Pua Hone" and shows his romantic side as a singer-songwriter with the closing track, "Spend It With You."

The precision and deftness that distinguish Ohta, whether he's strumming or picking the ukulele, is best appreciated when he plays solo or with a small acoustic combo consisting of Noel Okimoto, Steve Jones and Jon Yamasato (Barry Flanagan sits in on "Lei Pikake").