Island Mele: Maryanne Ito’s ‘Live’ is a seductive return
Maryanne Ito croons seductive descriptions of romantic situations good and bad on “Live at The Atherton.”
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“LIVE AT THE ATHERTON”
Maryann Ito (Aloha Got Soul)
Record producer Roger Bong’s first Aloha Got Soul projects were reissues of obscure and almost-forgotten Hawaii pop recordings of the 1970s and 1980s. From there he got into recording current artists. Bong’s newest project is this seven-song “live” EP by 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winner Maryann Ito, which was recorded at Hawaii Public Radio’s Atherton Performing Arts Studio in November, 2017. It is a beautiful snapshot of Ito and a trio of musicians performing for an appreciative studio audience. It also shows that Ito’s Hoku win was not a fluke.
Ito croons seductive descriptions of romantic situations good and bad. “I know you know you can not resist, the thought of my lips pressed against your lips, and your hands on my, my hips. … Ain’t nobody better to suit you, no one understands you quite like I do,” she admonishes one apparently hesitant lover. “I’ll be good to you, yes I well,” she promises another.
“Screw your sense of entitlement,” she says in dismissing someone who betrayed her.
The lyrics are Ito’s work throughout; guitarist Gilbert Batangan and drummer Dae Han are two of the composers she works with. Bassist Alika Lyman is the third member of Ito’s trio.
One of the most engaging things about this “live” album are the moments that wouldn’t be part of a regular studio album.
“Oh my gosh! That’s a keeper!” Ito exults after one song. “I think we got it! We got it!’ she exclaims after another.
A lengthy instrumental gives Batangan, Han and Lyman ample time to show what they can do.
“Live at The Atherton” was released in digital-download and vinyl LP formats in May. The CD version is scheduled for release on Monday.