"'Ukulele Romance" By Herb Ohta, Jr.

Herb Ohta, Jr.
“‘Ukulele Romance”

Roy Sakuma Prod. (RSCD 2003)

2003 Hawai‘i Music Awards Nominee:
(Best Instrumental of the Year)

2003 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Nominee:
(Instrumental of the Year)

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EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Roy Sakuma Productions, Inc.
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

The Honolulu Advertiser
Sunday June 1, 2003

Review By Wayne Harada

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Genre: 'Ukulele instrumental, with one vocal track.

Distinguishing notes: By now, Herb Jr. has made his own imprint on the island music scene and won't be mistaken for his father, Herb "Ohta-san" Ohta. Like Dad, Herb Jr. has clearly made the uke a solo instrument of distinction, plucking through a variety of songs here, from local faves "He Aloha No O Honolulu" and "Honolulu City Lights," and established standards that periodically infiltrate local repertoire such as "Can't Help Falling in Love With You" and "What a Wonderful World." Herb Jr.'s original composition, "Look Into My Heart," marks his debut as a singer, too, with Jomel Sumira, a Moanalua High School student, also featured on the love ballad.

The outlook: Herb Jr.'s musicianship continues to marvel and impress; there's quite a bit of eloquence and emotion in his touch. And yes, he takes risk, too, and proves he has a future as an occasional vocalist!

Our take: Herbie rides again — and it's a smooth and sensuous journey from start to finish.

The Star Bulletin
Friday October 17, 2003

Island Mele
Review By John Berger

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Growing up in the shadow of his famous father Ohta-san, Ohta has long since proven himself a virtuoso in his own right.

Ohta shares his father's interest in exploring non-Hawaiian genres of music. Although romantic island themes are found in "Honolulu City Lights" and "He Aloha No O Honolulu," he establishes a Far East connection with the inclusion of several songs by Japanese composers. He also offers a fresh perspective with his take on the pop hit "Love Will Keep Us Alive."

Ohta is such an accomplished musician that studio players and synth tracks often intrude on his work rather than enhance it. While "Look Into My Heart," an original that features him as a vocalist, breaks into the album's instrumental format, it would fit better on another album.