Unfinished Business, the Honoka’a Jazz Band’s 18th CD, proves to be one of their best. After being nominated for a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award last year, the band challenged themselves to surpass the quality of the nominated album, Playin’ in Traffic.The title, Unfinished Business, was selected by the Senior members, and the creative cover design is by Senior, Stephanie Onza, who also plays alto sax on the CD.
The recording contains a wide variety of Jazz and Blues music and features the vocal stylings of Kacy Sanchez, Kaylynn Iona, Kaleb Yamasaki and Kelson Pedro. Included are jazz standards, “Footprints” by Wayne Shorter which features Nic Altura performing a bass solo, “Cute,” a Neil Hefty tune which features drummer Falyn Sabastian and “Honeydew” by Gatemouth Brown which features guitarist, Chico Joaquin. A beautiful rendition of Rod Temperton’s “You Put A Move On My Heart” is performed by Kacy Sanchez, and Kaylynn Iona puts her twist on the Boys To Men classic “End of the Road.”
For the last four years the band has gone on tour with Austin blues master Johnny Nicholas. As a tribute, the band included two of his originals, “Rockin’ My Blues to Sleep” and “Before I Grow Too Old” sung by Kaleb Yamasaki, who also does the guitar work on both tunes. Marvin Gaye’s, “Ain’t That Peculiar” features multi-instrumentalist Francis Altura on drums. Francis is also the featured pianist on many of the tunes on the album.
The CD may be purchased by contacting Honoka’a School at 808-775-8800, and at any of the band’s upcoming performances. The band will be appearing in Honoka’a Sept. 21 at the Peace Day celebration, in Waimea Oct. 12 at the Pumpkin Patch, and in Hilo Oct. 19 at the Peace Day celebration at the Hilo Civic.
Musician, composer and educator, Washburn is something of a musical hero on Hawai‘i Island, where he has directed the Honoka‘a Jazz Band for 40 years. In that time, he has received a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction award, been inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, named a Living Treasure in Hawai‘i, and helped the school achieve an award from the Grammy Foundation in 2011. For more information, follow Gary Washburn Musician on Facebook.