Jack de Mello

Hawaii: Land of Enchantment

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The re-release of the classic Jack de Mello album has all of the greatness of the old version, with some nice remastering thrown in for good measure. Hawaii: Land of Enchantment was the first album to fuse the old Hawaiian standards with Western classical instrumentation. The sweeping string arrangements were to become the standard for what made up most peoples' concept of Hawaii. There are tones of exotica built in by way of passages of hula chanting intermixed with the flowing harps and violins. The music is perhaps well less authentic in performance than the steels, slack keys, and ukes that are the real specialty of many Hawaiian performers, but the songs are authentic and here simply presented in what was then an original format. As the first example of this type of fusion of Hawaiian music alone, the album is worth something. As arguably the best example of the style (short of the vocally infused works of people like Don Ho and Alfred Apaka), it's worth something more.

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