I had at least some of these tracks on an Arhoolie CD, and the Mississppi Records transfers blow them out of the water. Arhoolie uses so much noise reduction it sounds like a pillow is in front of the speaker. This music needs the treble frequencies, where the falsetto and slide guitar live. Must have, and the price can't be argued with.
Mike Hanapi was a brilliant steel guitarist and vocalist from Honolulu, whose recordings with Kalama’s Quartet and the Ilima Islanders remain among the highest peaks of early 20th century Hawaiian music. Truly peaceful, tranquil and unique.
Hanapi’s gorgeous falsetto voice is backed by lush harmony vocals, like a lonesome yodel floating above an oceanside choir. The purely acoustic instrumentation of lap steel guitars, ukeleles and harp-guitars weaves gently in and out of the vocal melodies, creating fluid and harmonious layers and achingly beautiful blue notes. While past reissues of Hawaiian music from this era have focused on “hot” and up-tempo material, this compilation is entirely dedicated to the peaceful, deeply emotional and lilting style in which Mike Hanapi and Kalama’s Quartet excelled.
Most of these songs have never been reissued on any format, and have been remastered from original 78 rpm discs by Tim Stollenwerk, with beautiful clarity and presence.
12” black vinyl LP with reverse-board jacket, and 8-page full sized booklet with biographical notes, rare and previously unpublished photographs, and full lyrics in Hawaiian and English. Bandcamp version includes 4 additional songs. Co-released with Olvido Records.
released September 14, 2020
Compilation produced by Les Cook and Gordon Ashworth.
Original 78 RPM discs provided by Les Cook, Sergio del Rio, and Marc Friend.
Audio transfers by Norman Field, Sergio del Rio and Marc Friend.
Restoration and mastering by Tim Stollenwerk at Stereophonic Sound.
Lyric translations by John Marsden, Les Cook and Amy K. Stillman with additional assistance from He Mele Aloha: A Hawaiian Songbook by Carol Wilcox.
Photographs provided by Tom Bertino, Winifred Matteson, Robert Armstrong and Les Cook.
Graphic Design by Gordon Ashworth and Dan Fried.
Special Thanks: Sally Kalama, Michael Kieffer, John Marsden, Gregg Miner, Malcolm Rockwell, Amy K. Stillman and Roberta Zaring Matson Underhill.
Booklet front cover: Kalama’s Quaret, 1928. From left: Bill Kalama, Bob Nawahine, Mike Hanapi, Bob Matsu.
Booklet back cover: Ilima Islanders, 1930. From left, standing: Henry Makua, Bob Nawahine, Leo Cummins, Bill Kalama; seated: David Burrows, Mike Hanapi.
Jacket back cover: Kalama’s Quartet, 1928. From left, standing: Bill Kalama, Bob Matsu, Bob Nawahine; seated: Mike Hanapi.
supported by 65 fans who also own “Mike Hanapi with Kalama's Quartet”
Like a revelation something brand new and precious while still you feel like he’s been part of your life forever. I listen to one side then flip it over and listen to the other then flip it back over and listen again. Sapphista