Chansons d'Amour de Paris
Vocalist Claire Elziere sings some of the most famous musette pieces. She is accompanied by the usual suspects of Daniel Colin (accordion, piano), Dominique Cravic (guitar), plus bass, and even Okinawan sanshin played by Kazutoshi Negishi. 16 tracks.
1. Moulin Rouge 2. Hymne al'amour 3. Parlez-moi d'amour 4. Mon manege a moi 5. Sous le ciel de Paris 6. La vie en rose 7. L'accordeoniste s'est tu 8. Les amants de Paris 9. Que reste-t-il de nos amours 10. La goualante du pauvre Jean 11. Mon amant de Saint-Jean 12. Sur les quais du vieux Paris 13. C'etait bien (le petit bal perdu) 14. Trois petites notes de musique 15. Il n'ya a plus d'apres 16. Viens voir la belle etoile
French Cafe Music - Swing! Musette
New recording of French accordionist Daniel Colin on tunes themed around swing. Colin is accompanied by guitar, contrabass and clarinet on what is an album of quintessential musette. 17 tracks.
HSB - Hirosaki University Steelband
Steel Pan de Kiku Okinawa Ongaku
A university steelband tackle some of Okinawa's most famous tunes, old and new. Nada Sousou, Tinsagu nu Hana, Shima Uta, Hana, Tsuki nu Kaisha and more. 12 tracks.
OKINAWA JAZZ ASSOCIATION
Back in 1957 in Okinawa, there were seven jazz big bands with sixteen members, the number of professional jazz musicians totalling over 400. These days, it's a bit different with jazz being overtaken by just about every other form of music. Now however, jazz makes a comeback with a new album from the Okinawan Jazz Association (OJA). Mostly jazz versions of famous Okinawan tunes, Shima Uta, Asadoya Yunta, Chinugujushi, Tinsagu nu Hana, Agata Sundunchi. Plus Okinawan takes on famous jazz tunes, Take the 'Yui' Rail, Nankuru the Naisa. 11 tracks.
Sanshin de Kikitai Hikitai Okinawa Minyo Best 15
15 track various artists album of classic Okinawan minyo. Artists include Seijin Noborikawa, Yoriko Ganeko, Sadao China and Minoru Kinjou.
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Sanshin de Kikitai, Hikitai J-Pop Best 15
Various J-pop songs by artists such as Dreams Come True, SMAP, Southern All Stars, Kiroro, as well big-name Okinawan aritsts Rimi Natsukawa and Begin are played solo on sanshin. 15 tracks. Nada Sou Sou, Sakurazaka, Love Love Love, Best Friend, Okuru Kotoba, Sen no Kaze ni Natte, Sakura, Oggy Jiman no Orion Beer, Shimanchu nu Takara, Saboten no Hana, Yasashisa ni Tsutsumaretanara, Itoshi no Elly, Kotoba ni Dekinai, Sekai ni Hitotudake no Hana, Akai Sweetpea
French Cafe Music - Paris Musette 3
Volume 3 in the Paris Musette series features accordionist Daniel Colin playing 20 tracks including some Spanish and Tango tunes.
It's only Seigwa- The Best of Seijin Noborikawa 1975-2004
21 track compilation from one of the greats of Okinawan music, Seijin Noborikawa. 'Seigwa' as he is sometimes referred to is known as the 'Okinawan Jimi Hendrix' for his fast sanshin playing. Born in Hyogo prefecture in Japan in 1930 he moved back to Okinawa when a child, formed an association with another great, the late Rinsho Kadekaru, taught a young Sadao China and became president of the Ryukyu Minyo Kyokai (Okinawan Traditional Music Society). He released relatively few albums, but this one includes examples from most of them, from his 1975 albums for JVC Victor, duets with Rinsho Kadekaru (including the sound sample) and later albums for Respect with Sadao China and Japanese rock band Soul Flower Union. Recommended.
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It's great to see that in 2008 the venerable Seijin Noborikawa is still releasing albums now 77 years old. Not only that, he's still writing new tunes too, some included on this 14 track album. Other tunes are standard favourites and lesser known traditional tunes including a few 'kuduchi' lyrical stories about trips. Traditional style with sanshin, shima daiko (drum) and sanba (castanets) for accompaniment.
Hawaii Oto no Omiyage Kettei-ban
Compilation from Respect Records of some of their Hawaiian artists. These are Elodia and Ray Kane, Rene Paulo, Ray Kane and Yuki Yamauchi, Ray Kane and Martin Pahinui, Ozzie Kotani, Ledward Kapana and Bob Brozman. 16 tracks.
Beautiful Okinawa Melodies
Imagine sitting in lounge bar in Okinawa sipping on a cocktail. A man is tinkering on the piano, but instead of a few jazz classics, he's playing some of Okinawa's most famous tunes. That man is Masaaki Tamae and he does a pretty good job of turning those melodies into jazz lounge style tunes. Not to everyone's taste but has it's place. Songs include Asadoya Yunta, Nada Sousou, Chinnuku Jushi, Ikawu, Hana, Tinsagu nu Hana and Bashofu.
Satoshi Kadekaru is a radio dj, TV presenter, and an ex-member of the comedy team Neenees. On this album he sings popular Ryukyu pop songs accompanied by guitar. 11 tracks including Eisa nu Yoru, Kaachan, Ojii no Sabani, Ue no Muite, Saa Miina! and Chura.
TAKUJI aka GEETEK
Eisa - In Da Club
Eisa is Okinawa's version of the Obon festival, when the souls of the departed are said to return. It's one of the best times to be in Okinawa as Eisa parades and groups take to the streets, banging drums, singing and chanting. On this album some of the most popular Eisa tunes are given radical new mixes by Geetek with dub, hip-hop, house, reggae and ambient mixes. 7 tracks, one for the dance floor.
Although not known much on the Japanese mainland or overseas, Hirokazu Matsuda has been a local star of Okinawan traditional music for several years. He teaches over 200 students and is known as one of the best interpreters of standard tunes, and a composer of new songs. On this album, he sings, plays sanshin and shimadaiko (drum) on a selection of shima uta standards and some of those original tunes too. 14 tracks including Hantabaru, Naakunii-Kaisaree, Niage-Acchamee Guwa, Imasannin, Hanagasa Bushi-Asadoya Bushi, Asobiyakara Mono, Jisso Bushi, Koi shi Ireimura, Hatoma Bushi.
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SUPERMAN, POPEYE, BETTY BOOP
Minna de Tanoshimu Uchina-Guchi (Okinawan Language)
One of the more bizzare DVD releases. Superman, Popeye and Betty Boop all speaking in the Okinawa dialect, Uchina Guchi! Designed to help you improve your Okinawan speaking skills.
DANIEL COLIN & DOMINIC CRAVIC
French Cafe Music - Paris Musette 2
New recording featuring Daniel Colin on accordion and guitarist Dominic Cravic. 15 tracks of standard musette and chanson, some with vocals.
Shimadelica is the long awaited third album, the first in three years, from the US/UK duo, Ryukyu Underground. 'Shimadelica' sees the guys back in the studio, recording with live musicians and adding beats, rhythms, and some surprises too to create the trademark, unique sound that is Ryukyu Underground.Jon Taylor and Keith Gordon bring some new ingredients to the RU blender this time. 60s and 70s psychedelic music are mixed with the local sounds of Okinawa. Those local ingredients are still at the root of their music. Funky rhythms, progressive house, 90s Brit rock, dub, trip hop, Brazilian, Arabic, Indian plus other world and club influences all help to take the listener on a global trip that begins and ends in Okinawa. Ryukyu Underground have employed the talents of some of the brightest young names from roots side of the Okinawan music scene. Toru Yonaha is much demand as a session musician and a fine sanshin player and singer in his own right. Long time female collaborator and singer Mika Uchizato is featured once again as are other young female vocalists Natsuki Nakamura and Ayano Uema. Another significant step forward, Shimadelica takes the rich sounds of Okinawa into previously uncharted territory.
Eisa De Surisasa
It's summer in Okinawa, that means it's time for the Eisa festival, held in July Taiko drums are played by brightly clad dancers in a noisy and colorful event. Eisa takes place on the streets and in fields and each town in Okinawa has its own variation of Eisa tunes. Eisa is equivalent of Japanese obon when dead anscestors are said to return. This superb 2 CD set features three performers, the omnipresent Toru Yonaha joined by Hirokazu Matsuda and Kazutoshi Matsuda, the songs focussing on two areas of Okinawa on each CD. Musically, the banging of taiko drums are accompanied by stern male unison vocals, sanshin, the occassional wistful flute and plenty of chants of 'heeya sa sa, haiyeea!'
Tsuneo Fukuhara's Works - Bashofu
Tsuneo Fukuhara is one of Okinawa's greatest musical figures. He is the son of Choki Fukuhara who founded Okinawa's best known independent Marufuku as well as being a musician and songwriter. Tsuneo followed in his footsteps and has written some of Okinawa's most loved melodies from the last 50 years. These include the songs 'Bashofu' 'Shimajima Kaisha' and 'Yuuna no Hana'. This superb album is compiled from four different record labels. 20 tracks of some of Fukuhara's greatest tunes performed a variety of artists. Chieko Iha (Utaya Uta) Hoptones (Furusato no Ame) Yoriko Ganeko with Chuei Yoshikawa (Musume Jintoyo) Four Sisters (Omorouta) Deigo Musume (Nangoku Sodachi) Yasumasa Miyara (Shimajima Kaisha) Aiko Yohen (Chimuganasa Bushi) and others.
SEIJIN NOBORIKAWA & SADAO CHINA
Seijin Noborikawa & Sadao China
Probably Okinawa's two greatest musicians get together for a recording. Sadao China is probably best known for producing the female quartet Nenes, and writing most of their songs. Noborikawa is from a generation above, a funky, bluesy musician and one of the great characters of Okinawan music. Pure traditional material, sung seperately and in unison. Sanshin and taiko drumming on selection of uptempo and plaintive material, some standards, some lesser known. Simple and simply brilliant.
It's been 14 years since the great Sadao China last released a studio recorded solo album. Since the classic female quartet Nenes disbanded, aside from working with the new Nenes he's recorded with Seijin Noborikawa and produced a few young singers. On Utamaai he is joined by Yasuko Yoshida, (ex-Nenes) on backing vocals, sanba (castanets) and his son Sadahito on additional sanshin. An album of mostly traditional tunes, with China's dry vocals, sanshin and ryu-kin (koto). Excellent album of pure Okinawan traditional music.
Kariyushi No Tsuki
Debut album by ex-Shokichi Kina guitarist of the new Okinawan sound. Also includes guest vocals by Misako Koja formerly of Nenes and produced by Soul Flower Union's Takashi Nakagawa and Hiroshi Kawamura.
TAKASHI HIRAYASU AND BOB BROZMAN
Japanese release of collaboration album.
Click on Read About to read the liner notes to the International version, Jin Jin/Firefly and watch a video of two songs from this album performed on Japanese TV
TAKASHI HIRAYASU AND BOB BROZMAN
Kiburu Dattchya Music
Released worldwide as Nankuru Naisa. Second collaboration album,that crosses many musical styles, and includes David Hidalgo (Los Lobos, Latin Playboys), Rick Walker on drums and percussion and Piper Heisig on bass.
TAKASHI HIRAYASU AND YOSHIKAWA CHUEI
Okinawa's Takashi Hirayasu has already proved himself a master musician in collaborating with musicians from around the world. These include on record, two acclaimed albums with American guitarist Bob Brozman, while in concert Hirayasu has played with musicians from Guinea, (West Africa), La Reuinion (Indian Ocean island), India, Cuba and elsewhere. Hirayasu's latest recording and live partner is one of Japan's finest acoustic guitar players Yoshikawa Chuei. Chuei adds a dazzling array of acoutic textures including National steel guitar, Dobro guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele to the Okinawan sanshin (3 stringed lute) of Hirayasu to perform some of Okinawa's best loved songs.
Toru Yonaha is one of Okinawa's fast rising stars on the traditional music scene as a session player, producer and an artist in his own right. Following his kacharsee (dance) tunes album, this is an album of Warabeuta (children's songs and lullabies). Songs include old classics such as Ita Anma Makaiga, Tinsagu nu Hana, Akata Sundunchi and Chinukujushi and modern classics such as Warabi Gami. Mostly sung in female vocal unison, this album sometimes recalls early Nenes, but with a more simple instrumentation of sanshin, percussion, flute and piano. Excellent.
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Kachashi A Go-Go
No celebration in Okinawa would be complete without a performance of dance tunes called kachashi. Kachashi is an integral part of Okinawan people's lives. The most distinctive feature of the music is lightning fast sanshin (banjo) playing, accompanied by Okinawan drums, castanets and whistling. The lyrics can be improvised, but more usually are written down. The songs usually consist of short musical phrases which are continually repeated building up to a frenzied climax. The people's dance, participators fling their upraised arms and twist their hands, in a distinctive Okinawan way, with echoes of southeast Asian dances from Bali orThailand.Kachashi originates in the mo-ashibi revelries of pre-war Okinawa village and beach parties.This album features the most well known kachashi songs.Toru Yonaha is a young musician, and a wonderful interpreter of traditional minyo. The concept, production and choice of supporting musicians are all his.The songs are arranged in an orthodox style, yet sound fresh and dynamic in the hands of the youthful Yonaha and his supporting cast, which includes Mika Uchizato, who sang with US/UK duo Ryukyu Underground.The eleven tracks on this album are some of the most famous kachashi tunes, ending with the classic 'Toshin Doi' featuring eight vocalists.
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After the death of Rinsho Kadekaru, perhaps Seijin Noborikawa stands as the island's most loved and respected elder muscian. But Noborikawa (or "Seigwa" as he is often referred to) equally stands alone. He doesn't fit into the 'traditional' musician category easily. He doesn't usually dress in kimono, doesn't only sing traditional repertroire but composes his own, anti-war and other protest songs, developed his own six string sanshin, the 'rokushin', and is known as the Okinawan 'Jimi Hendrix' for his fast sanshin playing. Born in Hyogo Prefecture in Japan in 1930, he moved back to Okinawa as a child. A sanshin player from childhood he performed as a backing musician for the Matsuda Gekidan Theatre Group, where he perfected the traditional style and first met Rinsho Kadekaru, an association that would last a lifetime. Noborikawa later worked on an American base where he heard and digested the American hit songs of the day, an influence that crept into his own music. Nevertheless, he was one of the founding membersand later president of the Ryukyu Min'yo Kyokai, a traditional music society, and taught the sanshin to a a 12 year old Sadao China. Perhaps overshadowed by Kadekaru and other traditional singers, he released relatively few albums. A couple of cassettes for Marafuku in the 1960s, an album for JVC in 1975, and then a comeback album in 1998, 'Howling Wolf". It was only after his starring role in the 1999 film "Nabbie no Koi" (Nabbie's Love) that his fame spread to the rest of Japan. "Spiritual Unity" was produced by Takashi Nakagawa of Soul Flower Union, who along with his band mates plays on some of the songs. It features both well known traditional songs, and new compositions penned by Noborikawa, highlighting his unique lyrics and songs.
Excellent new recording by the elder statesman of Okinawan traditional music, now in his twilight years, but his most prolific in recording terms. Raw, traditional album featuring sanshin, vocals and taiko drums. Good selection of material ranging from the very famous, 'Asadoya Yunta', 'Nakuni' to the talking blues kudochi style, and even Seijin's young grandchildren on the opening track.
Uminchu - Yaeyama Nasake-Uta
Traditional Yaeyama, Okinawan shima uta. Sanshin (lute) and vocals.
YORIKO GANEKO & CHUEI YOSHIKAWA
Ganeko and Yoshikawa met each other at Ganeko's recording of 'Asobiyara Tururunten' in 1995. Ganeko joined Takashi Hirayasu and Yoshikawa's 'Oto Asobi' concert in Okinawa as a guest singer in 2001, singing 'Tinsagunu Hana' and 'Musume Jin-To-Yo' which are included on this album. Elsewhere, are other traditional repertoire, 'Onna Kubushi' 'Ikema Miyarabi', plus the Irish folk song, 'Danny Boy' covered in Okinawan dialect, and a Japanese cover version of 'Hard Times Come Again No More' written by Steven Foster and some children's songs. It adds up to two quite separate performances, those sung and played in a traditional way, and others, in a entirely Western manner. Seeing as Ganeko is one of Okinawa's best min'yo or folk singers these are the more successful.
YORIKO GANEKO with CHUEI YOSHIKAWA
Uta Asobi 2
The second album from the Okinawan female singer and Japanese acoustic guitarist. Singing in the traditional minyo style, Yoriko sounds great and the accompaniment of guitar and sanshin suits her voice perfectly. Trouble is, too often she switches to a rather saccharine sentimental pop style, negating in one ill advised stroke, the essence of the music and it's greatest appeal. Patchily good, occasionally infuriating.
Following the success of their first album, Ryukyu Underground release their much anticipated follow up. In contrast to their first album, which sampled many traditional recordings on local labels, this time around Jon and Keith were keen to cooperate and interact with Okinawan musicians in laying down the basic tracks. Despite his young age, Toru Yoneha is one of Okinawa's top players, much in demand as a session musician. of the sanshin, the three stringed snake skinned banjo at the heart of Okinawan traditional music. In female singer Mika Uchizato, they have unearthed a real new talent. It's Mika's beautiful voice that is heard on the opening track 'Hana' originally recorded by legend Shokichi Kina, and one of Okinawa's best known songs around the world. 'Koi no Michi Kusa', features Mika over a heavy dub backing, a sound that has become one of the trademarks of Ryukyu Underground. Elsewhere Kuiji nu Hana is set to an infectious bossa nova/samba rhythm, Sefa Utaki has a laid back ambient drum 'n' bass feel, while Kanasando is in a downtempo lounge style.
An Evening with Ryukyu Underground
Compiled by Jon and Keith of Ryukyu Underground of producers, remixers and musicians they have worked with or admired. Some Asian and world flavours from Bob Holroyd, Ansar Featuring Dum Dum Project, Cosmic Rocker, Ex-centric Sound System, Latrama, Frederic Galliano and the African Divas Soloman, plus Ryukyu Underground mixes of Yuri Chika and Karsh Kale.
Campus Omote! Best
Okinawa's Campus Records is run by Bisekatsu, also known as a songwriter and producer in his own right. Bisekatsu has compiled 2 CDs for release in Japan on Respect Records. The first of these 'Omote' (front)features some of greats, Rinsho Kadekaru and Seijin Noborikawa alongside young singers such as Toru Yonaha, Chihiro Kamiya and Mika Uchizato and artists who might have a name in Okinawa but not on the mainland such as Yui Yui Sisters, Shuken Maekawa and the excellent Masao Teruya. A couple of weak tracks but mostly an enjoyable trawl through the catalogue of an outstanding local label. Great Seargent Pepper copy cover with photos of the artists.
Campus Ura! Best
Companion to the previous CD, compiled by Bisekatsu of Campus Records in Okinawa. 'Ura' (Back) is a rather more quirky selection of mainly lesser known local artists. These include Shinyu Kuniyoshi, Masaharu Yamauchi, Yasuyuki Hamazato, Tsunehide Tsunami, Toru Yonaha with Kiyofumi Tokuhara, Miyuki Uesedo with Suekichi Matsuda. These are often breezy, easy going or upbeat tunes, a bit poppy but distinctly island music. Elsewhere Teihan China (father of Sadao) Yuki Yamazato and Yukihiro Kamiya add a traditional flavour. Another Sergeant Pepper's cover and a hugely enjoyable CD.
Okinawa Sobaya-san No BGM
Aside to music, Okinawans also love eating. One of their favorite dishes is Okinawan soba. This hugely enjoyable album features 14 tracks all about or related to Okinawan soba and local Okinawan food. Recorded on local labels artists include Shuken Maekawa, Satoshi Kadekaru, Yui Yui Sisters, and The Stars. Mostly upbeat, jaunty numbers about soba, goya champloo (another local delicacy) humerous and catchy. And the tongue in sub title says; all you need is Soba and Okinawan food.
Okinawa Best Song Collection
Compilation of Respect Records Okinawan artists. 2 tracks from Ryukyu Underground, 4 from Takashi Hirayasu, solo, with Yoshikawa Chuei and remixed by Takuji aka Geetek and Seijin Noborikawa. Well sequenced, but works as a label introduction rather than a true Okinawan best of compilation.
TAKUJI AND TORU YONAHA
Kacharsee In Da Club
Remixes by Takuji of tracks by Toru Yonaha. The track titles and subtitles give you a good idea on what the music is like. Honen Ondo (drum 'n' bass) Umi no Chimbora (raga house) Tako Yama (Okinawan dub) Nanyogaeri (hip-hop) Toshin-doi (jungle) Honen Ondo (ohayashi drum 'n' bass). Sounds formulaic and made to order rather than a creative work, but is pretty good for the dancefloor.
TAKUJI a.k.a. GEETEK
Uto Ashibi - Okinawa Minyo Best Acoustic Remix Selection
Takashi Hirayasu and Chuei Yoshikawa's acoustic album of Okinawa's greatest tunes is given a laid back remix treatment. Not for the dance floor, more for relaxation. A few added beats, echoes and effects.
RYUKYU SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Ryukyu Symphony Orchestra
Eight popular Okinawan tunes, including Tinsagu nu Hana, Asadoya Yunta, Shima Uta and Bashofu are given the classical treatment by the Ryukyu Symphony Orchestra. Whatever next?
SOUL FLOWER MONONOKE SUMMIT
Acoustic version of Japanese rock band, Soul Flower Union, playing old Japanese songs in 'chindon' style with clarinet, accordion, and percussion.Original and accessible Japanese music.
SOUL FLOWER MONONOKE SUMMIT
Levelers Ching Dong
Second album from acclaimed acoustic unit playing chindon punk.
Released worldwide in 2002 via Tropical Music. This CD is only available to our Japanese customers.Cicala Mvta (pronounced shikala moota) are one of Japan's most exciting and original groups. Like other innovative musicians, their music is hard to define; "punk chindon jazz", "world brass" or simply "strange popular music" are some of the attempts to define their sound. Cicala Mvta was formed by Wataru Ohkuma, who had taken the unlikely switch from playing guitar in a punk and noise band to clarinet in a chindon group. Colorful chindon groups used to be a common sight in Japan, marching in the streets noisily banging a chindon drum, while saxophones or clarinets would pick out the melody to the hits of the day. Ohkuma tramped the streets of Tokyo for 7 years playing clarinet as part of a spluttering tradition, until the late 80s when together with the group Compostella he started to revive chindon music by mixing it with other elements. While Japan is the only eastern country to have so readily absorbed western music, street performances of wind and percussion instruments can be found all over the worlds. As an "unmilitarized" street music, chindon is related to Jewish Klezmer music, New Orleans brass bands and wind and percussion ensembles from China and south east Asia. Ohkuma is as keen to embrace these influences in the music of Cicala Mvta. "In my opinion, old jazz, klezmer or wedding brass band traditions, from India to the Balkans, are all similar to chindon as an early modern mixture music .These are all clarinet musics, so it's very natural for me to play these types together" he says. Ohkuma's other disparate influences help give Cicala Mvta their own distinctive sound. These he cites as progressive rock, punk, avant-garde jazz, early modern music (such as Bartok) and folk. Only occasionally featuring the chindon drum, Ohkuma's perky clarinet is ably abetted by an unusual line-up of musicians, each bringing with them a sense of individuality to supplement Ohkuma's clarinet and saxophone, in what is a totally original line-up; fluid, distorted electric guitar, rip-roaring, booming tuba, squeaking, screeching cello, frantic, discordant fiddle, and tinny, shuffling drums. "Deko Boko" is Cicala Mvta's second album and a progression on their self titled first CD. The mixtures are more radical than ever, and the tunes self penned by Ohkuma and arranged by the group. Both traditional chindon and the retro-futuristic sound of Cicala Mvta are an entirely natural combination of the old and new, the east with the west. Cicala Mvta is one of only a few Japanese groups, to have created a 'buzz' in other countries.Their first overseas gig in 2000 was supporting Blur in London, afterwhich they toured for 6 weeks, playing to enthusiastic audiences at festivals throughout Europe. Despite being instrumental, their music is not without a message. The band's name, Italian for a 'mute cicada', derives from the epitaph written on the gravestone of Soeda Azembo (1872 -1944) the greatest street singer and songwriter of popular music in Japan before the 1920s. "His songs were banned and he was repeatedly thrown into prison. They tried to break his spirit and make him really mute" explains Ohkuma. Cicala Mvta and chindon music too, is not about to go quietly.
Buta no Mukui
Cicala Mvta/Soul Flower clarinet player's soundtrack to Okinawan film. Brass style music plus Okinawan elements.
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Soul Flower Mononoke Summit member's solo album. Clarinet plus acoustic instruments playing chindon, Turkish, Nepalese and Klezmer music. Outstanding release. Released outside Japan via Tropical Music, Germany.
TOM LABLANC,HIROSHI YAMAGUCHI,SAKANA HOSOMI
Guitarist Hiroshi Yamaguchi provides an atmospheric accompaniment to the poetry reading (in English) of Native American Tom LaBlanc together with electronics and accordion by Hosomi Sakana. An unlikely combination but it works surprisingly well, sounding like some of Leonard Cohen's finest moments in places.
No.0 Virgin Dub
Japanese reggae pioneers live dub album.
Excellent Japanese Dub outfit produced by Kazufumi Kodama (Mute Beat), with 3 tracks given a dub mix by Dry & Heavy.
SOUL FLOWER UNION
Hightide And Moonlight Bash
Live album of music from all Soul Flower's career, with emphasis on rock. Featuring Donal Lunny.
SOUL FLOWER UNION
New Soul Flower Union studio album is one of their best ever.Their usual powerful mix of punk, soul, funk, ska, celtic, rock, psychedelic, blues and yes, Japanese music. Great songs overflowing with energy, politically insightful lyrics (booklet comes with English translation) One of the Japanese albums of the year in 2001.
JAPONESIAN BALLS FOUNDATION
Winners of the best band name in Japan, Takashi Nakagawa(Soul Flower Union) & Hiroshi Yamaguchi(Heat Wave) join forces on a rock album playing the music of their heroes, Lou Reed, The Ramones, The Only Ones, John Cale, Bob Dylan, (all sung to new Japanese lyrics) plus their own Bored with the USA, (inspired by the Clash) Uncle Sam Kills You, Mass Communication Enfolds you Gently and other politically inspired songs. Can't argue with that. Good time rock 'n' roll from two of the only musicians in Japan with genuine talent and non-pretentious passion.
Bluesy folk guitar plus Okinawan sanshin and ukulele, powerful vocals, strong songs.
Kagirinaku Ano Sora Ni Chikai
Japanese folk/rock singer's second album. Great songs, from rocking big production numbers to ballads.
First album by Japanese female singer/songwriter.
Friend of Yours
Second album of acoustic based music with a pop and rock twist. Great vocals and songs, critically acclaimed album in Japan.
OSAMI OKAMOTO with CHUEI YOSHIKAWA
Acoustic Guitar Party
Chuei Yoshikawa is an acoustic guitar player and Osami Okamoto a well known lyricist. Yoshikawa plays with a different guest vocalist on each track, on songs with lyrics by Okamoto. What marks this album out is the range of those guests. From the gravely voiced Sion, Nakagawa of Soul Flower Union, Hashiken, Higa of Okinawan group Begin, Okinawan female singer Kuwae, idol singer (but actually very good) Fukuyama, and folk icon Minami, and ex- Soul Flower female singer Utsumi. Relaxed, informal, well performed, good songs.
RAY KANE AND YUKI YAMAUCHI
Holoholo Slack Key
Holoholo Slack Key is the third duet album released by Ray Kane and and his favorite disciple Yuki 'Alani' Yamauchi. As on their previous album, 'Maika'i no
Blues', once again the earthy voice of Ray Kane is brought to the fore, although he also plays guitar on several tracks. According to Ray Kane, Yuki plays the slack key in a style closest to his own, perhaps explaining the totally natural feel and spirit of their recordings together. In addition, Yuki plays steel guitar and ukulele. Most of the songs are classic traditional songs of Hawaiian music, many adapted to the slack key guitar. Ray sometimes sings in a quite humorous style, sometimes with a feeling evoking the blues, but all songs have his own character indelibly stamped upon them. Some of the highlights include such songs as "Wai Ulu", also recorded by the "Sons of Hawaii" and their original version of the Lena Machado song "None
Hula". Many songs will be known to lovers of traditional Hawaiian music such as "Latitu". Others are Ray's personal favorites such as 'I Ka Po Me Ke Ao" and
"Wai O Ke Aniani". Beautifully recorded, this album will appeal to lovers of slack key guitar music, Hawaiian traditional songs or guitar music fans. Perhaps it's the timeless appeal and character of Uncle Ray's voice that has the widest appeal. During times when contemporary Hawaiian music is losing some it's own Hawaiian character, Ray Kane and Yuki Yamauchi have served up a concoction brimming with the spirit and feeling of Hawaii.
Hawaiian slack key guitar versions of Christmas tunes, by Japan's virtuoso player.
Hawaiian slack key guitar, plus guests Ray Kane and Sandii. Recorded in Hawaii.
YUKI 'ALANI' YAMAUCHI
That's My Story - Plays the Slack Key Guitar
Alani is considered to be one of the finest slack key players outside of Hawaii. Excellent recording, masterful performance.
Ukulele Hawaiian Style
Solo ukulele tracing history of ukulele from Portugal to Hawaii via Tahiti and Indonesia.
RAY KANE AND YUKI YAMAUCHI
Slack Key Guitar Jam
Featuring the vocals and guitar of Ray Kane, plus Yuki Yamauchi and guest vocalist Elodia Kane. Superb album.
RAY KANE AND YUKI YAMAUCHI
Maika'i no Blues
Legendary slack key player only sings to Yamauchi's guitar, laid back with vocals full of character.
He Leo' Ohana
On her third solo album Elodia Kane is joined by an elite group of musicians and friends, spanning the generations. This album evokes the feeling of bygone days in Hawaii, with many of the songs composed by illustrious members of her husband, Ray Kane's family.
Elodia's beautiful voice is accompanied by some of Hawaii's finest musicians. These include slack key guitarist Ledward Kaapana, considered to be one of the greatest present day players as well as on ukulele and backing vocals. Ledward and Ray Kane have previously toured together in the USA, and were also together when they were honored by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. Rene Paolo, is one of Hawaii's top pianists, especially known during the
1960s. His unique lounge style piano, is the perfect accompaniment, adding touches and adornments of the wind, sea and sun. Bobby Ingano is one of a lost breed of Hawaiian steel guitar players, his sensitive playing evoking the feeling of the islands, perhaps like no other player can. The combination of electric steel guitar and piano is quite unusual on Hawaiian recordings, and one which both musicians felt of as a challenge. Martin Pahinui, son of the great Gabby Pahinui, adds his beautiful harmonic vocals to some songs. This album would not have been complete without Elodia's husband, Ray. Co-producer Yuki Yamauchi also plays ukulele with his former teacher and source of inspiration for his continuing passion in Hawaiian music. Elodia calls these musicians the 'top guns' of Hawaiian music. A unique gathering of musicians, masters of their individual instruments, many performing together for the first time on record.
Outstanding first album by the sweet voiced wife of Ray Kane, featuring Yuki Yamauchi and Ray Kane.
Tribute to Lena Machado
Kane's wife sings a tribute to Hawaii's 'songbird',, sweet vocals with slack key,ukulele and steel guitar, together with Ray Kane and Yuki Yamauchi. Beautiful album.
Solo piano, Hawaiian lounge style. Now 72 years old, these are this unique pianist's first releases for 32 years. Rene Paulo was born in 1930, and grew up in Waipahu. His grandparents on his mother's side were from the Philippines, becoming naturalised US citizens after his grandfather joined the US military. Rene's musical background is in classical music, and he studied at the Julliard school in New York. He soon branched out into improvisation, listening to piano players such as Art Tatum, and boogie woogie styles. He gradually became knowledgeable in the art of improvisation and all aspects of music.
Rene got drafted into the US service himself and was in Japan for one and a half years at the beginning of the beginning of the 1950s. While there he was approached to be the arranger for the 'Six Joes' a jazz group. The leader of the group became owner of Watanabe Pro. While in Japan, Rene became known as the "King of night time jazz piano" in Roppongi, Akasaka and Ginza. His wife is 3rd generation Japanese.After returning from Japan to Hawaii, in 1958 he started recording Hawaiian music with a jazz flare for Liberty Records, as an Hawaiian lounge style became popular with mainland Americans on vacation in Hawaii. Rene approached the music from a different rhythm aspect, using polyrhythms, far removed from the usual concept of Hawaiian music. The 1960s were the heyday of his career. He toured and played venues in Las Vegas and Taho working with Alfred Apaka, Don Ho and many other Hawaiian greats. He recorded nearly 20 albums for Liberty during the 1960s. During the 1970s, the number of tourists decreased and tastes changed. In 1998 he recorded with Japanese singer Sandii on an acclaimed album. It is his style that makes Rene's music unmistakably Hawaiian, with innuendoes of the wind and the waves. This is an album of Japanese songs that Rene learnt while growing up in Hawaii. His neighborhood was populated by many Japanese immigrants and Rene learnt these songs from his Japanese friends. Including Furusato, Sukiyaki, and Ballad of Hokkaido.
An album of some of Hawaii's best known songs from the 1960s and 1970s, such as Across the Sea, Beyond the Reef, My Hawaiian Souvenirs and others. The songs are arranged in order to make a story, -arriving at Hawaii (Across the Sea), staying in Waikiki, dancing the hula, buying an Hawaiian souvenir, and culminating in the final track (15) a Hawaiian farewell song medley.
Mento A Go-Go
Jamaican Mento group (the roots of reggae) on a wonderful, evocative Japanese only release.
One of Jamaica's finest Mento groups, an infectious Jamaican roots music.
THE JOLLY BOYS
Live in Tokyo
Jamaica's best known mento band, captured live. Entertaining, enjoyable music.
Japanese Marimba group playing mainly Cuban and latin standards.
Danza y Sol
Second album of more top class latin music played on marimba, with guest vocalist.
Island Music Collection Vol. 1
Compilation of the Respect Records catalogue. From Hawaii, Ray Kane, Elodia Kane, Rene Paulo, and honorary Hawaiian, Yuki 'Alani' Yamauchi, from Okinawa Takashi Hirayasu, (with Bob Brozman, Chuei Yoshikawa and solo), Seijin Noborikawa, from Jamaica, the Hummingbirds, from Japan, Soul Flower Union and Marimba Tropicana and tracks originally on European labels by Tarika (from Madagascar) and Taj Mahal.