Les Paul & Mary Ford

Hawaiian Paradise

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Les Paul's first album - originally issued as a four-disc 78 RPM package - was recorded under some duress in the form of an order by Decca label chief Jack Kapp, who wanted a Hawaiian album for the sake of Decca's financial coffers. But Paul's innate musical taste resulted in a pleasant album of melodic Hawaiian standards where he states and elaborates gently upon the tunes with nary a cliched Hawaiian guitar within earshot. Backed by his trio at the time -- Bob Armstrong (piano), Cal Gooden, Jr. (guitar), Clint Nordquist (bass) -- Paul displays his uncanny instinct for hitting the right notes at the right time, with a few patented glissandos but rarely using more notes than necessary. A relatively minor period piece in the context of Paul's career, this issue was one of Decca's first LPs, and its contents finally made it into the CD era in 1997 as part of The Complete Trio-Plus.