Island Mele: Kalima shines on solo DVD
BY JOHN BERGER / firstname.lastname@example.org
Although Lehua Kalima is still a member of Na Leo she is also a successful solo artist. Her recent “Island Music Island Hearts” television special is now her latest DVD album.
‘ISLAND MUSIC ISLAND HEARTS: LEHUA KALIMA’
Lehua Kalima (Coco Palm Pictures Productions)
Kalima is seen performing in an intimate beachfront setting in Lanikuhonua in Ko Olina with Shawn Pimental, Alika “Alika Boy” Kalauli IV and percussionist Jon Porlas among her backing musicians. The set list includes several of her biggest hits as a member of Na Leo and the title song of her solo album, “Rising In Love.”
Interspersed among the songs — perhaps where commercials would be placed in a commercial broadcast — are short biographical segments. In one Kalima recalls growing up in a musical family (Her father and his siblings performed as the Hilo Kalimas in the 1960s). In another she shares the history of Na Leo — how she met Nalani Jenkins and Angie Fernandez when they were all students at Kamehameha, entered Brown Bags to Stardom and won the opportunity to record their winning song, “Local Boys.”
There is one oddity and that is the total absence of crowd noise or the sound of the waves breaking on the nearby beach. It’s like we’re watching a silent movie to which studio music tracks have been added. Too much background noise would detract, of course, but Kalima’s producers should have added a bit more than they did. The moments when Kalima talks to the audience and their response can be heard adds life to what was obviously a live performance.
On the other hand, to give credit where it’s due, Kalima’s producers run English subtitles when she is singing in Hawaiian and make the general meaning of the Hawaiian songs accessible to the vast majority of those who enjoy her music.