Various Artists

Edition Pierre Verger: Polynesia - From Bora Bora to Tahiti

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A nice little album of Tahitian music that seems to be straight out of the age of Hollywood exotica. The music on Polynesia -- From Bora Bora to Tahiti runs the range from the stereotypical missionary-influenced chorus, to the haka (actually from New Zealand) mixed with a chorus, to straightforward Hawaiian tourist music from the 1940s. There isn't too much here with authenticity prior to the time period of the recordings, but there's something to be said for the album as it takes an audio snapshot of what Tahitian music was supposed to sound like, even for a short time. The performances are relatively good, though the groups moving through Hawaiian or Maori forms tend to miss a note here and there. A particular highlight is the group Maeva, with a pounding set of pahu and toere on "E Rori E." It may be heavily tourist-influenced, but that doesn't mean the music ain't worth hearing.

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