Herb Ohta, Jr. & Jon Yamasato
Lele Music Productions
Executive Producer - Jon Yamasato
Producers - Jon Yamasato, Herb Ohta, Jr., Michael Grande
Engineering & Mixing - Michael Grande
Mastering - Dave Tucciarone
Photography - Michael Torres
Graphics - Shayna Kusumoto
Recorded at: Studio Ala Moana
Jon Yamasato - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Herb Ohta, Jr. - ‘Ukulele
Richard Gideon - Bass, Background Vocals
Sean Pimental - Bass, Drums
Jon Porlas - Percussions
Saturday, July 30, 2010
Review By John Berger
Ohta-Yamasato Pairing is a Winner!
Herb Ohta Jr. has made memorable recordings with slack key guitarist Keoki Kahumoku and also with Grammy Award-winning musician/producer Daniel Ho. His new project with Jon Yamasato -- released almost simultaneously with Ohta Jr.'s solo CD -- is equally significant.
It has been almost 10 years since Yamasato used a Thanksgiving Day column drop in The Honolulu Advertiser to inform Hawaii -- and the other members of Pure Heart -- that he was quitting the group and going back to school. Yamasato resurfaced as a recording artist almost immediately, and he's been active since then as a record producer and mentor of younger acts as well.
Yamasato's most important contribution to Pure Heart was his voice, and although he plays several instruments, it is his voice that is the essential ingredient here. Yamasato's voice was as important to Pure Heart as Lokapa Colon's percussion and Jake Shimabukuro's charisma. There's a sense of that old-time feeling as Ohta, Yamasato and percussionist Jon Porlas open with a Yamasato original, "Back to You." Yamasato also sings on a remake of "Ku'u Home o Kahalu'u" that brings no new ideas to Jerry Santos' musical signature -- but is beautifully done nonetheless. Yamasato's distinctive voice still charms. Other selections are performed as instrumentals. Yamasato and Ohta personalize contemporary hapa-haole standards such as "Paniolo Country" and "Hanalei Moon." It's beautiful work by both of them.