Hawaiian Slack Key... Import
Hawaiian Slack Key Christmas is genre melding of the best sort: incredible guitar playing in the Hawaiian tradition dominates the disc, but the material is mostly familiar holiday carols. The result is a truly original and refreshingly low-key take on Christmas music. Keola Beamer's version of "Away in a Manger" is filled with jazzy bass touches; Led Kaapana and Bob Brozman's "Jingle Bells" is a hard-driving and virtuosic showpiece, with Brozman seemingly working the entire fretboard; and Bla Pahanui's arrangement of "O Come All Ye Faithful" is gorgeous and creative. Ozzie Kotani's "First Noel" is understated but a touch too sentimental and the three vocal tracks--by Dennis Kamakahi, Leonard Kwan, and Joanie & Ruth Komatsu--seem out of place amid all these lush guitar textures. That said, this is still a great album and a wonderful alternative for guitar lovers who've worn out their copies of John Fahey's legendary Christmas album. --Jason Verlinde
If you are a fan of slack key music, this CD is a must! It has a great mix of traditional and non-traditional
Christmas music and all of it is a truly beautiful to hear. My favorite is Leonard Kwan's "Wish you Merry Christmas," sung with a children's choir. My husband and I have a large collection of Christmas CDs and I would honestly have to say that this Christmas album is one of our top 5. That says a lot!
I'd strongly encourage you to check out slack key guitar music in general if you like easy-listening music. You will not be disappointed!