By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

With Grammy season nearing, it’s no surprise that the surge of Hawaiian slack-key CDs continues. The latest are multi-artist compilations, one from Maui – likely contender in Grammy balloting.

By Various Artists;  Daniel Ho Creations

Genre: Ki ho’alu instrumentals, with some vocals.

Distinguishing notes: Recorded live at The Ritz-Carlton resort at Kapalua, this 12-song collection features a host of slack-key greats.

The disc opens with Ledward Ka’apana‘s tranquil ” ‘Opihi Moemoe” and closes with a collaboration by George Kahumoku Jr., Keoki Kahumoku and Da ‘Ukulele Boys on “Ka’aahi Kahului,” the train song by Palani Vaughan.

In between, there’s a wealth of classic showmanship — Cyril Pahinui’s vocal on “Ka Makani Ka’ili Aloha,” Dennis Kamakahi’s “Ahulili” vocal, Martin Pahinui‘s “Ka ‘Ano’i” vocal, Ozzie Kotani’s “Pauoa Liko Ka Lehua/Papakolea Medley,” Richard Ho’pi’i’s “Papalina Lahilahi” vocal, Bobby Ingano‘s “Hula Blues” instrumental, Daniel Ho‘s “Kumu Mele” vocal, and George Kahumoku Jr.’s “Aloha ‘Oe” vocal. Daniel Ho mixed and mastered the session, capturing the live quality complete with applause and some impromptu chatter. Tracks with voices add earnest emotion to the spirit of the tunes.

Our take: Since “Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol. 1” — also a collection of live ki ho’alu performances — earned a Grammy Award last year for Best Hawaiian album, this one surely is a contender. The same team was involved.

© COPYRIGHT 2006 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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