Sunday, May 22, 2005

Island Sounds by Wayne Harada

Here's the Honolulu Advertiser's Island Sounds section by Wayne Harada that reviews the CD "Revelations".

Posted on: Sunday, May 22, 2005


By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Original religious material, with jazz undercurrents, is amazingly graceful.

"REVELATIONS" by Michael Chock, with Aaron Aranita; Sugartown Records

• Genre: Religious, jazz.

• Distinguishing notes: Michael Chock, who plays trombone and acoustic guitar here (as well as sing lead vocals), has composed a batch of tunes that obviously combine two passions jazz and religion. With Aaron Aranita, who plays everything from sax to keyboards and bass to percussion, the disc is a harmonic new-age look at two conventional genres that also embrace the vocals of Gail Mack and electric guitarist Joe Siababa. "Rejoice," "I Will Worship You," "Give Thanks: and "Joy" are inspirational originals that have that cool jazz undercoat. "Amazing Grace," the ageless hymn, perhaps best exemplifies Chock's hybrid — mellow, bluesy, still reverential; with new music set to familiar lyrics.

• The outlook: Limited appeal, but enough invention to lure the curious — or even the devoted.

• Our take: Amazingly graceful excursion, and one that's easy to worship. "Call to Worship" by Michael Chock. Audio sample available in mp3 format.

Reach Wayne Harada at 525-8067,, or fax 525-8055.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Review of Revelations by John Berger

John Berger has been reviewing the music and entertainment scene in Hawaii for as long as I remember. Here's John's review of the CD Revelations that will soon be released.

Island Mele
John Berger

MICHAEL CHOCK: Revelations

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Michael Chock

Chock played Top 40 music as a member of Greenwood back in the 1970s, but makes his debut here as a singer/songwriter with this album of Christian music. Almost all of the songs are originals, in some cases, Chock wrote new melodies for existing lyrics. He also played acoustic guitar and trombone, as well as doing most of the singing. Co-producer Aaron Aranita provides the reeds, winds, bass, percussion and synth strings.

Most locally written Christian music puts "the Word" ahead of rhyme, rhythm and meter, so it's of primary interest to other members of the congregation. Some of Chock's writing is of this kind, and Aranita's arrangements are sometimes more than his synthesizers are capable of, but the two come up with some interesting ideas. For instance, reworking "Amazing Grace" as jazz and setting the familiar lyrics to a new melody pays off amazingly well.

Aranita also blends acoustic instruments and synthesizers on the uptempo "Give Thanks."

Mpeg Audio Clips:
"Call To Worship"
"Amazing Grace"
"Where Were You"
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Don't Stop the Feeling

Cool Tropical Jazz

Soon to be released, the latest CD from world class musician Aaron Aranita. A compilation of some previously released songs from his debut CD, some never before released songs featuring Aaron with the band Eastbound, and a bunch of entirely brand new entrees for the coolest of the cool jazz cats out there. Aaron steps back to what he does best with some very hot instrumental jazz arrangements that are real cool!!! Now this will be a CD that will be worth a listen.

In the mean time, here's Aaron's previous release on Sugartown records, One Day. Some great stuff on this CD with some great guest musicians and singers. Take a listen.


David Choy

Another one of the all star monster musicians that Asian Blend bandleader Mitch Hazama brought to the 70s Nightclub reunion was the imcomparable David Choy. That cat blows a mean horn. Hoooooo hooooo!! That dude is bad, real, real cool.


David Choy, for many years, has been Hawaii’s most sought after and most recorded saxophonist.
Versatile and eclectic are two of the words that can best be used to describe the musical style of David. Covering the jazz spectrum from traditional to contemporary, David has thrilled audiences world–wide with his dazzling technique, the creating of beautiful melodies on sensual ballads and also the unique ability to use the saxophone as a window into his heart.
Although born and raised in Hawaii, David’s musical odyssey has taken him to the studios on the West Coast, concert venues in Japan and touring the country with artists such as The Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald, Patti Austin, and James Ingram, to name a few.

Here's David Choy's CD which like Aaron Aranita and mine can be purchased thru CD Baby.

DAVID CHOY: Colors Of The Heart

p.s. don't forget to check out David Choy's website, click on the link provided below........check it out, cool stuff!!!


Pamela Gamboa Petersen

Cool Tropical Jazz

I had the pleasure to see and hear Pamela Gamboa Petersen perform as part of Asian Blend at the inaugural 70s Nightclub Reunion this past January, 2005 at the Ilikai Hotel. Asian Blend leader Mitchell Hazama brought his All Star band to this event and one of the main all star of his band that night was Pam. The venue was dance music that night and she smoothly sang the songs of the 70s soooo well.
Hoooo hooooo!!!!! Singing songs like Alicia Bridges' "I Like the Nightlige" to Sister Sledge's "We are Family" made it feel like we were back in the 70s. Finding her website I was able to order a self-made CD of Pamela that showed the full range of this woman's capabilities. From pop to jazz to classical music this woman can sing with the best of them. Pam's singing?? Cool, real cool. Here's something I found on her from her website.


Pam started her career as an entertainer and musician back in Manila, Philippines and has performed with world-class musicians in various concert halls in Asia and in the U. S..

Billed as the “singer with a thousand voices”, Pam is known for her ability to do voice impersonations and stun her audience with her 5-octave range, hence, her most versatile and varied repertoire.

Currently, she is based on Maui, Hawaii , catering to Weddings and Conventions and can be seen playing in hotel lounges all over the island (see below for lounge schedules).

Her versatility in music can be seen in her enormous repertoire ranging from Pop, R&B, Jazz, Hawaiian, Top 40, Disco, Rock and Roll, Rock, Funk and even classical, with configurations from 1 to a 6-piece band! Being a musical arranger, Pam often gets requests to play music that may not be necessarily found in her regular repertoire, which makes her a favorite choice when it comes to special events and occassions.

You can rest-assure that your evening will be well catered to with the ambience her music brings for your cocktail and dinner reception, and well danced-out with the high energy music by the end of the night!

p.s. be sure to hit the link below to check out Pam's website and hear samples of her golden voice.........


Aaron Aranita - Cool Tropical Jazz Musician

Cool Tropical Jazz

From the website Smooth-Jazz

Aaron Aranita has been a professional working musician for over 25 years. He has worked as a sideman and leader throughout the U.S. and Japan backing up some of the top names in the business, Bob Hope, Andy Williams, Natalie Cole, the Temptations, and Boy Katindig just to name a few. But that is only one aspect of his musicianship.

He started in music young, playing the clarinet then switching to bass in high school, went back to playing woodwinds in college, and then picking up keyboards along the way. He honed his craft in colleges such as Leeward Community College near his hometown of Waipahu, Hawaii and Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, California, and at dedicated establishments of musical learning such as the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Berklee School of Music was where Aaron decided to reach out even more and really learn from the best teachers available, Joe Viola for saxophone, Greg Hopkins, Phil Wilson and Andy Jaffe for arranging and composition. Evidently, he learned his lessons well because the people at Berklee to nominated him to the Dean's List in 1980.

As a side note, after Berklee, he even found the time to study piano tuning at the San Francisco School of Piano Tuning and Repair while performing with his band, Eastbound, in the Bay Area of California.

Now, as an accomplished musician, he composes both music and lyrics, owns and runs his own commercial studio, Sugartown Records, where he produces and records his own and other artists' albums, and even serves as musical director for the annual Great Hawaiian Jazz Blowout. He is also a well sought after accompanist among Hawaii's finest vocalists.

Aaron's 1998 release, "Eastbound," was nominated for the Jazz Category of the Hoku Hawaiian Music Awards. This CD continues to receive airplay on jazz radio programs throughout the nation and even across the Pacific in Japan. In fact, in 1996, one of the tunes on that CD, "Sugartown," was aired nationally on Late Night with David Letterman.

Among the awards and accolades he has received are the Billboard Certificate of Achievement for Jazz Composition for his tune, "Gregoria " (1988), and the NAJE Award for Flute and Saxophone Performance (1986).

Presently, Aaron serves as an active member of the Hawaii Recording Academy (HARA) and the National Recording Academy (NARAS). And for the past 12 years, he has been a BMI writer and publisher.

This year, Aaron Aranita and Eastbound will be releasing "One Day," a new CD of 14 of Aaron's original tunes performed by Aaron and some of Hawaii's finest musicians.

Aaron is a person who has never stopped learning, who is always seeking to broaden his horizons, and who has dedicated himself to his craft.

By John Berger,
Special to the Star-Bulletin
Friday, April 10, 1998 Island Mele

Eastbound: Aaron Aranita (MGC)

THE liner notes don't say who this saxophonist is, but sax and synthetics is the first impression of Aaron Aranita's music. All the songs are originals. Live guitars, bass and percussion pop up in spots to add texture to the drum programming and sequencing; Aranita's MGC label mate Gail Mack is heard on two songs. Her voice adds freshness and warmth to the musical journey.

Bottom line? Fans of the Kenny G school of jazz-flavored instrumental pop will enjoy this. Fans of organic acoustic jazz should look elsewhere.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I Forgot to Mention Some Cool Stuff....

MICHAEL CHOCK: Revelations
Cool Tropical Jazz

My CD is finally complete and is now available at CD Baby. Pretty cool if you ask me, but hey, I bet if you asked anyone who made a CD you'd get the same response. Cool man, real cool. As the days have passed from receiving the completed CDs to this very moment, I remember the words Kirk Thompson (formerly of Kalapana and founder and leader of Lemuria) said to me as Aaron Aranita and I were leaving his studio one day, "Welcome to the club". Thanks Kirk!! Hey Kirk, what did you mean by that? I realized shortly thereafter that the recording part and getting everything to the CD manufacturer was actually the easy part. I now understand firsthand what Kirk was saying and what every other independent recording guy knows so well, marketing and selling a CD ain't easy and takes a lot of effort, but most of all all the cards have to be in the right place!!!!! Anyway, here it is!!!! More about this CD later. Aloha & God bless!!!!

A First Entry, A Beginning......

Cool Tropical Jazz

This is all so new to me. Blogs, web stuff, CDs, granddaughters. This year has just been full of new stuff. A first granddaughter McKenzie who is soooooo cute and just puts a smile on my face that is as wide as the Pacific Ocean!!!! Grandma's life though has changed the most. Blogs & web pages?? Learning new stuff just scrambles my brain cells, but hey, "gotta try, never know".

So the question I pose to myself is this. Why a web page or a blog with the name "Cool Tropical Jazz"? Like so many things the name came up while my associate and me were just chewing the fat. I was listening to the first CD of my good friend and classmate Aaron Aranita and was just getting into the cool sounding songs he was playing. I had listened to his second CD and found that his first one was more true to what Aaron was all about. Pretty cool stuff. Listening to Aaron's music gave me a tropical jazz feeling. Wala!!! Cool Tropical Jazz!!! So there, just something that just came up. The next question. Why do a blog or webpage with this title? Well, I just thought it would be neat to put something together for fun about music in general, slanted maybe to a little jazz, that was cool, plus anything else out there in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that may be pretty cool in itself.

Anyway, just a first entry, just a beginning of who knows what. And for anyone who reads this, Aloha from paradise and God bless!!!!!

Oh the picture at the top??? Worship at New Hope Leeward.....pretty cooool!!!!

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