‘KA ‘ANO’I,’ release in 1990, was the first solo album by
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. An exploration of new avenues, delving into material of
a more contemporary nature. ‘The kid with the ‘ukulele’ is defining himself as
both a master musician and a superb entertainer. His brand of top form
showmanship couples crisp, fresh ‘ukulele stylings with a voice as rich as his
deep Hawaiian heritage. A real treasure not only to the people of the islands,
but to all who appreciates fine artistry. Better known among his
fans as “Iz,” Israel Kamakawiwo’ole was a phenomenon in the Hawai’ian Islands
totally below Mainland radar. So important was Iz’s singing to Native
Hawa’ians and Hawai’i residents alike that Governor Ben Cayetano declared a
statewide day of mourning when Iz passed away in 1997–this despite his
controversial Hawai’i-sovereignty politics. Ka Ano’i was the 1991 winner of
the prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Award for best contemporary Hawai’ian album,
and Iz himself won for best male vocalist that year. This album is appealing
mainly for its honesty and simplicity: simplicity of tone consistent with the
casual ukulele and slack-key sound, and honesty of voice through
Hawai’i-enhanced allegorical tracks like “Coney Island Washer Woman” and “I’ll
Be There.” A later version of Iz’s “Over the Rainbow” was featured in the 1998
film Meet Joe Black, as well. Despite his imposing stature, Iz was an
embodiment of the simplicity and gentleness in the music itself, more
noticeable in this early album than in his later work. –Erik Macki
- Audio CD (February 16, 1999)
- Original Release Date: 1990
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Original recording reissued
- Label: Discos Tropical
- #19 in Pacific Islands (CDs & Vinyl)
- #65 in Hawaiian Music
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