Paradise Lost & Found / Various
Most of the songs on this CD were part of a music catalog overseen by LA studio musician/arranger/composer Perry Botkin Sr. in the late 1950s and 1960s. Botkin was best known for his guitar and banjo playing but he was also an exceptional uke player. Several of the tunes in this catalog had a Hawaiian or ukulele theme and were originally recorded by Alfred Apaka, Arthur Lyman and many others. The songs were written by well-known LA studio pros like Ken Darby, Mel Henke, Botkin and Lyman arranger Paul Conrad. Soon after Jim & Liz Beloff discovered this treasure trove of material they wanted to make new recordings of the island-themed pieces. The biggest challenge was finding musicians who could pull off the exotic jazz numbers originally recorded by Arthur Lyman ("Leis Of Jazz," Hana Maui," "China Clipper," "The Magic Islands"). Fortunately they found WAITIKI, a Boston-based group of extraordinary musicians who have a passion for just this kind of mood music. Once they were on board, the rest of the project fell into place. Other guest artists include uke sensation Abe Lagrimas, Jr. who opens the CD with a toe tapping version of Perry Botkin's 1950 instrumental "Ukey-Ukulele." Chris Kamaka lent his vocals to "Legend Of The Rain" a beautiful song with music by Ken Darby. Other standout tracks include the Botkin tune "Duke Of The Uke" with Four Preps lead singer Bruce Belland. To round out the project we added a few Jim Beloff songs including "Sunrise At Haleakala," "The Hawaiian Turnaround" (with music by Herb Ohta) and "I'm Carrying A Tiki Torch For You" performed by King Kukulele and the Friki Tikis.