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 Ozzie Kotani's new CD "Ho'ihi" (Respect)
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RJS
Ha`aha`a

1635 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2009 :  7:26:22 PM  Show Profile
I attended a concert Ozzie gave and, like all of his performances, it just blew me away. At one point Ozzie began to play variations on Kani Ki Ho'alu in which he took an element of variation a, and made it the base of variation b, and again took an element of variation b and made it the base of variation c, etc etc Except for the rhythmic element, that performance could have come out of Keith Jarrett or J S Bach. Afterwards I asked him if he could do that again and he replied not unless you have a recording of it. Anyway - don't let anyone tell you Ozzie can't improvise with the best of them. IMO, Ozzie is too much a gentleman and too personally humble to show off at camp. When Ozzie is in a teaching mode, his whole attention is focused on helping the student(s) play better, not showing them what he can do.

Edited by - RJS on 02/20/2009 7:27:27 PM
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wdf
Ha`aha`a

USA
1149 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2009 :  9:20:03 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by RJS

I attended a concert Ozzie gave and, like all of his performances, it just blew me away. At one point Ozzie began to play variations on Kani Ki Ho'alu in which he took an element of variation a, and made it the base of variation b, and again took an element of variation b and made it the base of variation c, etc etc Except for the rhythmic element, that performance could have come out of Keith Jarrett or J S Bach. Afterwards I asked him if he could do that again and he replied not unless you have a recording of it. Anyway - don't let anyone tell you Ozzie can't improvise with the best of them. IMO, Ozzie is too much a gentleman and too personally humble to show off at camp. When Ozzie is in a teaching mode, his whole attention is focused on helping the student(s) play better, not showing them what he can do.




Yes! Ozzie is absolutely great at improvisation in a kanikapila situation. We will miss him greatly this year at the Kahumoku wotkshop.

Dusty
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garson
Lokahi

USA
112 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  10:26:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit garson's Homepage
I'm glad to be set straight about Ozzie and improvisation. Again I am not surprised.

Jim Garson
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sirduke58
`Olu`olu

USA
993 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  12:44:08 PM  Show Profile
Not to worry Jim, it's just a bummer that you didn't get to experience his improvisational skills first hand.Here's an example of how amazing Ozzie is.Ozzie recently let me and my buddy Jay sit in with him on a gig at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.Being that I have a "Stage fright" phobia syndrome Ozzie thought it would be a good oppurtunity to conquer that fear since it was a "Background Slack Key" type performance.He wanted to feature me in the lead for like a dozen songs to help me get acclimated to performing.Well Oz assured me that he'd provide a safety net & rescue me if I fumbled and lost my place or got a brain cramp or something like that.Well needless to say,I dropped the ball maybe a half dozen times & within 2 to 3 missed notes Ozzie would jump to the lead and hold it until I found my place again and back off just as seamlessly as he 1st jumped in.I came off almost looking like a seasoned pro thanks to "The Wizard Oz!!"

Aloha
Braddah Duke

Hoof Hearted?...Was it you Stu Pedaso?

Edited by - sirduke58 on 02/21/2009 12:45:40 PM
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garson
Lokahi

USA
112 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  4:57:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit garson's Homepage
That sounds so much like Ozzie. The very first time I saw him I was too much in awe to even go over and introduce myself. But he saw I was shy and came over to me and invited me to get a guitar and come play. He has also been very kind about taking time to talk with me about my stagefright. Last summer at kanikapila my wife Connie mentioned she had a granddaughter named Lilly and always thought of her when hearing Pua Lilia. So Ozzie played a jawdroppingly beautiful arrangement of it. I wonder now if that was off the cuff too. Anybody every hear him do that one? It was one of the few times I got to hear him really step out when not on stage or in class. At George's camps there are so many positive personalities like Cyril, Dennis, Keoki, Led, Bob Brozman, etc. that Ozzie seems overshadowed. When he did take pa'anis, it was usually simple and often too quiet to really hear.

I am worried about his not being at George's this year. Dusty, you speak as if that is official. Do you know why?

Jim Garson
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sirduke58
`Olu`olu

USA
993 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  6:53:30 PM  Show Profile
Hey Jim

That "Pua Lilia" probably wasn't pure improvisation.I've been up close and personal when he played it maybe 5 times. Once 2 weeks ago when I took Noeau(Al Tringali) to Ozzie's house and Al sang it so soulfully. Getting chicken skin (goosebumps) just thinking about it now.On 2 other occassions Ozzie played it with Peter Moon Jr on the ukulele.I said it then & I'll say it now "Put it on CD and I'll be among the many who'll pay money for it!!!" Soooooo sweet,it makes you forget that there's beautiful vocals for this song.

I stated in my profile a year ago that I firmly believe that Ozzie is the best slack key artist today and that given a chance I could convince anyone it's true.One day when I have enough free time I'll plead my case.One small tidbit to chew on...Ozzie can play almost anything all the elite slack key artists can play, including their signature pieces but no one can play his.On most occassion most of them can't play one anothers signature stuff.Ozzie is so respectful that he'll never play Radio Hula or Wheeha Swing if Ledward is on the bill or Hi'ilawe, He'eia when Cyril is there.The only Gabby song I recollect that Ozzie performs on stage is "Slack Key Hula" and only because Cyril doesn't play it for whatever reason.Ozzie's drawbacks are that he is only a part-time musician(by choice) so he doesn't have the visibilty.He's an instrumentalist so he won't get the same recognition as the other ki ho'alu artist that do sing.The average person only sees the tip of the iceberg with Ozzie who is a living treasure that will unfortunately only be fully appreciated when he's gone.

Ozzie would turn beet red if he heard me praising him like this,he's a very humble man.
His guaranteed response would be "Nah nah nah no make lidat!!"

Aloha
Braddah Duke

Hoof Hearted?...Was it you Stu Pedaso?

Edited by - sirduke58 on 02/21/2009 6:57:33 PM
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noeau
Ha`aha`a

USA
1105 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  11:32:07 PM  Show Profile
Bruddah Oz make killah kine chili too. If visit him mo bettah fo go dea hongry cause you refuse tree times den he feed you anyway. His mea 'ai is like his music. Excellent all the way.

No'eau, eia au he mea pa'ani wale nō.
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Pops
Lokahi

USA
387 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2009 :  5:16:10 PM  Show Profile
Ozzie, is a true gentleman and a musician's musician. It's a pleasure to be able to buy his CD and to support his wonderful efforts. First class all the way.

--Mark
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