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Master of the Hawaiian Guitar, Vol. 2

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Album Review

The second volume of Hawaiian guitar treasures from Hoopii covers the years 1927 all the way into 1951, near the end of his life and the last recordings he would make. By now, Hoopii had developed his trademark C# minor tuning, and these middle- and late-period recordings show the depth and breadth of the inventions he could pull out of it at will. Of special interest here are three tracks from 1929 with Hoopii's original trio working in tandem with the Andrew Aiona Sax Trio, an odd traditional-Hawaiian-meets-art-deco musical bonding that somehow works marvelously on "Hano Hano Hawaii," "Hawaii Nei," and "Na Alii." Also worth an extra spin is the jazzy novelty "Ten Tiny Toes" and the later tracks from the end of the trail ("Indiana March," "Honolulu March," "Kohala March") with Sol in great command of his electric steel. One of the great innovators of steel guitar, discovering the beauty of Sol Hoopii's music is one of the great rewards for those willing to invest the time to seek him out. World music for the ages.

Biography

Born: 1902 in Honolulu, HI

Genre: World

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s

The most celebrated steel guitarist of the Hawaiian golden age was undoubtedly Sol Hoopii, who first came to the mainland as a stowaway in 1919. I believe he is the only performer to appear on every Hawaiian slide compilation, where liner notes typically describe him with a single word — "hot." Most of his 78s (over 200!!) were recorded in Los Angeles, where he enjoyed great popularity in such clubs as the Hula Hutt and Seven Seas. He appeared in many movies, toured the country advancing...
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Master of the Hawaiian Guitar, Vol. 2, Sol Hoopii
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