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 Basil Bio

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Basil Henriques having retired from record production and the studio work that has occupied his last thirty years in Ireland, has now re-formed the band and is currently working on new material and projects. Although Basil plays a pedal guitar, he developed a style uniquely his own, by not using the pedals to create notes (as the C/W players do) but just to enable more lush chords and closer harmonies than would be available on an ordinary Hawaiian Guitar. In Hawaii , Jules Ah See, Billy Hew Len and others were also embarking on this course.

Frank Kahili's earlier association with big bands and jazz combos, enabled him to bring his own specific vocal interpretation to the well known Hawaiian Standards, and broaden the repertoire of the band with swing standards and evergreens.

Pat Henriques' innate sense of rhythm and chordal movement brought the band a solid rhythm and dynamic feel more akin to a piano and drum duo than to that of just one guitarist.

Clive Morton on acoustic bass displays a sixth sense of what Basil was doing next , and it shines through in the un-rehearsed phrasing and counterpoint runs that lend so much to the overall blend, it almost seems that they were playing from a scored orchestration.

This series of albums is not only a milestone, but gives us a promise of more to come, setting up a yardstick for others to aspire to. To be able to play with taste, panache and feeling, is something the Waikiki Islanders do naturally.

This compilation represents the pinnacle of the Waikiki Islanders performances during the late 60's , and although the recordings were only mono at 3 3/4 ips. they were made by John Birch direct from the band's P.A. They naturally contain all the imperfections and limitations related to live recording and performances, and when one considers that they were made just for John's own pleasure, it's quite fortunate that they stand up to the test of time as a living memory of both John's devotion to the band, and the band's pursuance of excellence.

 

 

 

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