HAWAII IN STEREO LEO ADDEO AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Hawaii in Stereo featuring music performed by Leo Addeo and His Orchestra is an album released on the RCA Camden record label in the year 1959.
The song playlist of the Hawaii in Stereo record includes the following songs:
1. Blue Hawaii
2. My Little Grass Shack (In Kealakekua, Hawaii)
3. On Miami Shore
4. Drifting And Dreaming
5. Hula Blues
1. I Get The Blues When It Rains
2. Sweet Leilani
3. Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula
4. Aloha Oe
Information and notes on the back album cover includes the following:
Since Captain James Cook came upon what are now the Hawaiian Islands in 1778, those twenty children of the volcanoes with their coral reefs, bemusing climate, uncanned pineapples and relaxed pride of uniqueness have come to connote a refuge of lazy euphoria to many generations, particularly to Americans.
In music, a body of undulating songs have been more effective causes for vacationing Americans choosing Hawaii then all the illustrated brochures of the travel agencies. Several of the most siren-like of these songs are included in this album - Sweet Leilani and Aloha Oe, for example.
For once, however, there is a difference - two differences - in this collection's approach to songs about Hawaii that make the volume more arresting than most musical anthologies of hulas and leis. There is, for one, the sound - a fullness of clarity, not innocent of echo chambers, that will intrigue even those dedicated owners of Stereo units who up to now have given Hawaii little thought except to wonder how long before it would be the fiftieth state.
The second difference is in the arrangements of Leo Addeo, who also conducted the orchestra. As you will instantly hear, these are treatments that, especially in the medium tempo numbers, add an unprecedented American beat to the usually languid Island rhythms. "What we tried to do", Addeo elucidates, "was to retain the feel of Hawaiian music, and add to that emotional coloring an American beat. We tried to add to the danceability of these songs in American terms. Even on the ballads and their lush string setting, we aimed at keeping the Hawaiian flavor while fusing with the sugar cane as American dance touch".
It's also of interest in explaining the undertow of the blending to note that on all tracks, five ukulele players and guitarists were utilized. On ukulele were George Barnes and Al Casamenti. Al Caiola or Billy Mure played rhythm guitar, and on the identifying steel guitars were Al Chernet and Bill Suyker. "By having two steel guitars," Addeo adds with satisfaction, "we were able to achieve a lot of overlap we couldn't have had with the normal procedure of using only one. Often one steel guitar would play the melody and the other would be responsible for the glissando fills and other ornamentation".
As for Leo (Leon) Addeo himself (hailing from Brooklyn), he has long been associated with Hugo Winterhalter, as orchestrator. Leo's background includes variegated experience as arranger for the bands of Gene Krupa, Larry Clinton and Frankie Carle. He is especially attracted to the possibilities in writing for strings, a penchant perhaps due to the fact that the violin was his first instrument. He later oriented himself on clarinet and saxophone when he worked in dance bands. Eventually, he became so attracted to the multiple chances of self-expression in arranging as contrasted with playing just one or two instruments that he focused his career on writing. He has arranged for radio, films and many recordings. Leo is a songwriter too, among his ubiquitous titles are There She Goes, recorded by Vaughn Monroe, and Be My Darling Once Again, committed to record by Don Cherry.
Leo is now, finally, an artist recording under his own name. It is a challenge he enjoys and Hawaiian in Stereo is one of many potential indications of his added delight in his own versatility.
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