Monday, June 30, 2008

I love it...."Da Kine"

Found this while checking out the archives of NightTime with Andy Bumatai and this is pretty cool stuff. Love to hear the sound of an acoustic guitar strummed the way Millicent Cummings does and I love the song she wrote entitled "Da Kine" and I love what Richard Natto & the NightTime Philarmonic do as a backup band.Click on the link below and enjoy almost live from the Waikiki Outrigger Hotel Millicent Cummings. Cool music, cool sounds!!!!! Love the way she strums that acoustic guitar!!!!! Da Kine!!!!!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Take a listen to "Sparkle"

I like this song and I think you'll like the cool arrangement and the cool voice of our lead singer Curtis Takahama on this song as well. This is the song that our leader Robin had translated from Japanese to English, but Robin put the final touches on the lyrics to make the make the words flow. Click the link and take a listen to "Sparkle".


Greenwood is live on vinyl in Japan!!

Robin let me know that the shipment of Greenwood's 45 rpm made it safely to Japan. Here's the correspondence from Eiichiro. Arigato Eiichiro!! It's just so amazing that after two decades the long lost recording of Greenwood on vinyl is alive and kicking.

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 4:27 AM
To: Robin Kimura
Subject: Re: Your order was mailed today!

Aloha Robin,
45-rpm's arrived in great shape, thanks to your secure packing.
I'll try to share this Wonderful tune to as many customers as possible,
and will let you know how the liked them.
Well, this transaction's been a wonderful experience to me,

and I can't thank you enough!!
Will speak to you soon.

Till then, Mahalo,


Click on the link below and take a listen to side B of Greenwood's 45 "Cheerleader Strut". Cool!!!


Monday, June 23, 2008

Melveen Leed......Molokai's gift to the world....

Every once in a while I have been fortunate enough to watch the girl from Molokai do her thing. Last week Sunday for father's day my daughter-in-law took us to Chai's Bistro in the Aloha Tower Marketplace. Lo and behold to my delight and pleasure Melveen Leed and local singer/guitarist Tito Berinobis were on stage to share their wonderful musical gifts while we leisurely dined on Chai's sumptuous father's day brunch selections. I didn't know that the talented Melveen played keyboards but on this day she was behind the electronic ivory entertaining the father's day crowd with her singing, playing and her joking. Melveen Leed.....thank you Molokai for your gift to the world. Click on the link below to see Melveen Leed almost live from the Waikiki Outrigger Hotel. Melveen's cool in my books!!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Absolut Joy!!!

Absolutely. Joy Waikoloa gracefully fronted the band White Light for many a years in the 70's at the Tiki Restaurant & Nightclub in the heart of the International Market Place in Waikiki. Presently focusing on the jazz band "Absolut Joy" where they can be found at the Honolulu Club just about every Tuesday night, here's Joy singing an original song "Here With You" with bandmates bassist Arex Ikehara (founding member of White Light, pictured furthest right) and multi-talented keyboardist/guitarist Aron Nelson on the Andy Bumatai Show. Cool singing and cool bass and guitar playing!!!!


Van DeGuzman

My good friend Chuck Ekimoto gave me a heads up of this video of our good friend Van DeGuzman performing in Las Vegas a couple of years back. Van left Hawaii many years ago for Las Vegas where he continues to this day with his one man band show playing keyboards, saxes & singing. Here's "Groovin", the classic song originally done by the Young Rascals as only Van can do. Cool stuff for all the good people in the house!!!


More Greenwood almost live

From the Waikiki Outrigger Hotel, almost live, and as you watch the clip keep the corner of your left eye open for host Andy Bumatai who joins the band impromtu and doesn't miss a beat. Cool!!!


Sometimes the light switch goes on a little late

For your convenience here's part I of Greenwood from earlier this year at the Waikiki Outrigger Hotel for the Andy Bumatai Show. It was an excellent mixing job done by sound engineer Chris Todd who had to blend and balance seven horns, a rhythm section and vocals to boot. Click on the link below and listen and see Greenwood almost live from the Waikiki Outrigger Hotel.


Surfing is cool, but this is really cool

Surfing the internet is especially cool for someone who's lived in Hawaii all his life but doesn't know how to hang ten let alone hang out at the beach. Recently the legendary group Earth Wind & Fire came to Hawaii to play to a sold out audience.Surfing the net I found something pretty cool. Al McKay, former guitarist & co-songwriter with Earth Wind & Fire founder Maurice White, started to tour with his band called the Al McKay Allstars and they present a show called the Earth Wind & Fire Experience.As I read more about Al McKay past and present and the history of Earth Wind & Fire I was really amazed (in surfing for Earth Wind & Fire I also found that listed as one of the members of the band was a Bobby Gonzales....interesting, but we'll ask former Glass Candle member about this at a later date). As I surfed Al McKay's related website I stumbled upon exerpts of a DVD of the Al McKay Allstars' Earth Wind & Fire Experience as recorded from a concert they did in Europe. To say the least I was totally blown away. Click on the link below and check it out for yourself. The exerpts were totally cool!!! From all that I've read it's all live, no playing on top of tracks. Wow!! Cool is all I can say. Given the opportunity Al McKay Allstars' Earth Wind & Fire Experience would be one concert I wouldn't miss.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Phase VII at the 70's Nightclub Reunion V

Had a nice talk with Phase VII bandleader Van DeGuzman yesterday and boy is he excited. Spurred on by more and more original members from bands such as Glass Candle and the New Experience participating in the Reunion series, Van pulled out all the stops and is in the final stages of putting together Phase VII's 2009 edition which will tentatively be made up of both original members and musicians who played with the band during its glory days in the 70's in Waikiki.

The picture above from left to right are Van DeGuzman, Hemingway Jasmin, Clark Silva, Eric Kutzen, Sandy Pascua, Bert DeJesus and Les Fernandez during Phase VII's peak of popularity. Tentatively scheduled to grace the stage in 2009 are the following:

Van DeGuzman - Vocals/Saxophone/Keyboards

Hemingway Jasmin - Keyboards/Vocals

Eric Kutzen - Bass/Vocals

Clark Silva - Trumpet/Vocals

Teddy Compehos - Drums/Vocals

Adney Atabay - Trumpet/Vocals/Percussion

Eddie Ramirez - Trumpet/Flugelhorn/Trombone/Flute/Keyboards/Vocals

Wow!!!! Now this is pretty, pretty cool if you ask me!!!

The Big Banditos

Growing up as a kid in Waipahu many, many years ago I had no idea that my classmate Aaron Aranita would become a musical monster. Aaron was always creative artistically but his musical skills just didn't show up somehow until his junior year in high school when he said that for some reason the light switch was turned on. In Aaron's latest adventure he takes on the role of big band arranger pulling together some big jazz musicians and vocalists in his current project "The Big Bandito" aka the "Sugartown Mongoose Pack".One of Hawaii's well known entertainer/singer Garry Moore, who's been seen around town doing vocal impressions of some nationally well known cats, is one of a bevy of talented vocalists recruited by Aaron.DeShannon Higa lends his amazing talents taking the lead on trumpet, playing unabashed and with feeling that gives you goose bump.Island jazz vets Chuck James on drums and Ernie Provencher on upright bass help Aaron lay the foundation of some really cool big band arrangements that you'd think you would hear only on the big island of America. The project is moving along and is soon to be completed. Aaron Aranita and the Big Banditos. Now that's pretty cool from some pretty cool cats indeed!!!!

Aaron Aranita: News

The Big Banditos - June 8, 2008
A new big band album of original songs and arrangements will be out soon. Reminiscent of the Rat Pack Era and the Count Basie Orchestra

Featuring vocalists, Brian Chang, Alwyn Erub, Garry Moore, Ace Thomson, Keahi Conjugacion, Al Romero and Michael Chock.

Chuck James, James Ganeko -drums

Ernie Provencher- Upright Bass

Aaron Aranita-electric bass

David Yamasaki, Brian Chang -Guitars

Aaron Aranita -Piano- keyborads

Deshannon Higa, Don Smith, Bob Scellato - Trumpets

Patrick Hennessy, Kyle Hanki, Dick Bowman -trombones

Aaron Aranita - Flute, Soprano,Alto, Tenor and Bari Saxophones

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vinyl is final.....from Japan to Hawaii and then back

After our band Greenwood broke up in the early 1980s our bandleader Robin put on another hat, the hat of record producer. He came up with the idea of doing a couple of songs that had originated in Japan. Cheerleader Strut was an instrumental that would feature the Greenwood horn section and some honky tonk sounds from our keyboardist Dwayne Higa, while Sparkle, a song that Robin had Japanese lyrics translated to English would feature our lead singer Curtis Takahama, the horn section and some cool funky strumming by our guitarist Owen Kajiwara. It was in 1988 that this project took place and by that time Greenwood members were already all over the place doing this and doing that. The horn section which was signature Greenwood was here and there, Miles Ichida our section leader/trumpet player in Los Angeles, and some others who were pretty much kind of not in any shape to take on any kind of project. To the rescue though saxophonist Randy Hoo and Wayne Nakamura and trumpet/trombone player Mark Silva agreed to do all the horn parts. Here's a more recent picture of Mark above surrounded by his posse. I remember singing a few lines on Sparkle. Anyway, the recording was pretty, pretty cool, sold a more than a few copies, but this is where it gets pretty, pretty interesting. Out of cyberspace our leader gets this email. What follows is the correspondence Robin and Eiichiro Arakawa from of all places Tokyo, Japan. Twenty years have passed since the project was done but due to technology and the internet it's just as though the Greenwood 45 rpm 7 inch single just happened. It's amazing that after 20 years the Greenwood record has stood the test of time and is still in good saleable shape. I guess it's true when they say "Vinyl is final". Now this story is pretty cool if you ask me! Hello there. My name is Eiichiro Arakawa, and I run a Records shop in Tokyo, Japan. I had a chance to listen to your 7 inch single ''Cheerleader Strut & Sparkle,'' and was impressed. How wonderful!! As I'd love to share this great music to my customers here, I'd like to know whether you have any stock of this 7inch single with you. If you do, kindly let me know the number of copies available. Looking forward to receiving a positive reply. Best regards,  Eiichiro my address; Postal Code 101-0051 SHIMADA Bldg 4F, 1-12 JIMBO-CHO, KANDA, CHIYODA-KU, TOKYO, JAPAN ----- Original Message ----- From: Robin Kimura To: Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2008 3:26 AM Subject: RE: Hello , about order from Japan Aloha Eiichiro! Wow! I was presently surprised when we received your email! Especially since we recorded and released this 45 rpm single in 1988. How were you able to get a copy? Currently we have approximately 80 copies left in storage. I checked the stock and it’s in excellent condition. Please let me know how you want us to proceed from here and we can continue to communicate positively. Do you have a website of your store? If so, please indicate the link to the site. Thanks again for your inquiry! Mahalo! Robin Kimura Greenwood 94-207 Awalua Place Waipahu, HI 96797 -----Original Message----- From: [] Sent: Saturday, June 07, 2008 2:44 AM To: Subject: Hello , about order from Japan Dear Robin, Thank you for your prompt reply. Well, my friend picked this 7 inch at a secondhand shop down here, and he is nice enough to bring it to my store to introduce this great sound to me. Let me tell you that I can't help making efforts to share this wonderful music to as much music lovers like myself as possible by offering them at my store. I guess 80 copies is just about right, so could you kindly let me know how much would it be like, and I hope we could proceed to the next step (payment method, shipping method, etc.). Looking forward to hearing from you very soon. Best regards, Eiichiro p.s. You could reach my website at I must admit that I do not update it too often, as I weigh on face-to-face business, by learning my customers' tastes.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The 70's Nightclub Reunion Series....

From a one night event the 70's Nightclub Reunion has become a series. Each year seems to build upon the previous year getting better and better. The famous saying in showbiz is "so what do we do for an encore"? Just some wishful thinking here but if it were possible these are a few bands who would be on my wish list who would really make the Reunion event really, really cool. First on my cool list would be none other than the band that had peeps standing in line till the wee hours of the night at the Hula Hut on Beachwalk Avenue in Waikiki, Natural High.Next on my cool wish list would be the Kasuals from Guam who were the six night band at places such as the Waikiki Beef N' Grog,the Foxy Lady 2 in the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel and the C'est Si Bon in the Pagoda Hotel.
Finally on my shortlist is the short-lived band Golden Throat which featured Hawaii icon Nohelani Cypriano and keyboard wizard Dennis Graue who had a short stint as the six night band at the Waikiki Beef N' Grog.Wishful thinking on my part but if Glass Candle, White Light and all the other bands can come back, we can cross our fingers and just who knows. Now the addition of any of the above bands would be pretty, pretty cool!

Some things take a little longer to happen....Part 2

They say that Rome wasn't built in a day, but hey that's cool. Just like building a thirty story condo it takes a while before the project takes shape. Surveys need to be done and then the foundation needs to be set before anything can really happen. The 70's Nightclub Reunion likewise took a while to really pick up steam. Talking to our bandleader Robin Kimura earlier tonight we laughed remembering when Candy Au first mentioned a next year before Reunion I was even finished. I really think that we thought it would be like what a well known football coach stressed........"One play and clear". But here we are looking forward to a cool tropical evening in February 2009 for Reunion V.

Going back to Glass Candle and Reunion IV it was a reunion in the making for about four years. After Reunion I Robin kept in touch with his cousin Dale who so happened to be the original trombone player for Glass Candle and Robert Shinoda (Glass Candle's leader). Robin always brought up the subject of a Glass Candle reunion to Robert at every possible opportunity there was.

I don't think Robert initially believed that any of his former bandmates would have any interest in any type of reunion which is pretty understandable since some thirty years had passed since the band disbanded. But after years of Robin's subtle hints Robert finally gave a call to original Glass Candle bass player Bruce Imai who had moved from Hawaii to Oakland, California just to see if there might be an interest. Lo and behold, "Let's do it" was Bruce's answer. Robert I think was in shock by this answer and by now the wheels or Bruce Imai's fingers were in motion trying to find former Glass Candle members who were willing to get back together for a reunion gig. Very quickly Robert and Bruce made contact with former bandmates in Hawaii, California, Las Vegas, New York and Florida who like Bruce were just so excited about playing together again. And as everyone now knows the rest is history. Now that is one really cool story, a story that just gives me that down to the bone good feeling. And it only took our bandleader Robin about four years of prodding. Glass Candle? A real cool band or some real cool guys doing it for the right reason.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A True Reunion of Sorts....

Here's a picture of the Fabulous Krush in its heyday (courtesy of Yemun Chung). The Fabulous Krush basically emerged from the band the New Experience with the addition of a few new faces. Something pretty interesting to note in this picture are the individuals in this picture. With the exception of the Krush's front man Hal Bradbury and trumpet player Phil, six of the eight in this picture were part of the 70's Nightclub Reunion IV at the Ala Moana Hotel this past May 10, 2008.

From left to right:

Freddie Paraz/Drummer - Currently a member of the Society of Seven LV playing at the Outrigger Hotel Waikiki, Freddie resume is like a who's who in the Hawaii music scene. Freddie followed in the footsteps of his musician dad and played in such bands as Homemade Jam, the New Generation, the Krush, the SOS LV and PowerPoint. As a part of PowerPoint it was Freddie's rhythms that drove the band and its funky sound that kept the peeps on their feet till the wee hours of the night at the legendary Point After nightclub in the good old 70's.

Wade Kuroiwa/Vocals/Alto Sax - Currently residing on the mainland USA, versatility was the name of the game for this former New Experiencer. Wade always had that no hold back attitude on stage and sang, played the alto sax and bass with the original New Experience and later with the Krush. During Reunion IV wade was upfront on vocals behind his Fender Stratocaster.

Mackie Galbiso/Tenor Sax/Vocals - Also currently residing on the continent, Mackie was behind the keyboards and the microphone with the New Experience at Reunion IV.

Hal Bradbury/Vocals - Although not a part of the Reunion series, Hal was very much remembered as the voice on the Krush's hit songs such as "Wailua Sky" and "Blame it on the Night". Hal still resides in Hawaii.

Bobby Gonzales/Vocals/Bass/Guitar/Horns - The multi-talented Bobby Gonzales currently resides in the city of Las Vegas where he continues to perform. Remembered as the voice on the Krush's hit song "Regrets", Bobby has pretty much played with everybody who is or was somebody in the Hawaii music scene. Showman, outstanding vocalist and musician, Bobby returned to be a part of Glass Candle at Reunion IV. Bobby replaced original Glass Candle bass player Bruce Imai during the band's six night gig at Duke's in the Waikiki International Marketplace.

Butchie Canencia/Guitar/Vocals - After his days with the Krush, Butchie moved from Hawaii to Las Vegas to continue in the field of music. Currently residing in California, music is now part-time for this former member of the New Experience and the Krush.

Phillip Galaura/Trumpet/Vocals - Members of the New Experience were in contact with Phillip but were unable to get him over to join the band in Reunion IV. Phillip was one of the later add ons to the band which later evolved into the Krush.

Edwin Ramones/Keyboards/Vocals - Edwin has been the one constant in the discography of the New Experience and the Krush. From the bands early days in Waialua as the Basic 5 until today, Edwin is best remembered as the voice of the remake of the Rascals timeless classic "My Hawaii". At Reunion IV Edwin was the man to pretty much reunite for one night the funky New Experience that we remembered from days long gone.

Now that's pretty cool if you ask me!!!!!

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