100 Unheralded Albums from 2010

The Waitiki 7New Sounds of Exotica (Pass Out, 6/7/10)

The Waitiki 7: “Similau”

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Though devoid of the ukuleles and slack-key guitars that may be most commonly associated with Hawaiian music, The Waitiki 7 — based on the island of Oahu — excel in capturing the “exotic” sounds that Martin Denny helped popularize.

The septet’s gorgeous melodies, however, do more than renew a bygone genre. Its radiant brand of exotica crosses into Latin jazz with just as much poise and dexterity, often melding the two with a lineup of vibraphone and xylophone, upright bass, flute, piano, violin, saxophone, vocal and bird calls, drums, and assorted percussion.

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