Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sol Hoopii Recordings 1925 & 1933-34

Until recently there has been only a couple of anthology reissue releases available of some of the recordings by the master of the Hawaiian lap steel guitar, Sol Hoopii (1902-53). However, luckily this situation has now changed thanks to the enthusiastic efforts by two specialist's labels - the subject for this blog message.

Earlier this year GRASS SKIRT RECORDS released the debut recordings by Sol Hoopii from 1925, originally issued by the obscure Hollywood Records and Sunset labels and only distributed locally in California when released. All 19 sides featuring Sol Hoopii's trio are now available on a cd from Grassskirt Records, moreover the cd contains seven extra tracks featuring recordings by other Hawaiian artists recording for the Hollywood and Sunset labels.
The cd has been prepared in cooporation with Dave Stewart of Beer Records, and the accompanying booklet has extensive info on the early career of Sol and tells the story of the Hollywood Records label. Audio restauration has been provided and adds best available sound clarity to these extremely rare 78 rpms, recorded acoustically in 1925. If you pay a visit to the website of Beer Records by clicking here , you have the opportunity to read the story of the Hollywood Records company, moreover there is a complete Sol Hoopii discography and entertaining video fragments of film performances featuring Sol, one of them inserted below.

The secound new release of material by Sol Hoopii has also been issued just recently by the Origin Jazz Library featuring 24 recordings for the Brunswick label 1933-34. These recordings by Sol Hoopii's Novelty Quartet were the last Sol made on acoustic steel guitar and represent the pinnacle of his performing skills on that instrument. As the cd by Grassskirt Records, this release from Origin Jazz Library has provided extensive info on Sol's career, recording dates, personnel etc. in the accompanying booklet. Audio restauration is the best available and makes it a pleasant experience to listen to these sides by the master of Hawaiian steel guitar.

From time to time I wonder what is so catching and attracting by the acoustic Hawaiian lap steel guitar. I think I come close to an answer when listening to the mentioned two cds - or when watching and enjoying a contemporary master of this instrument doing the things, Sol also did and most likely would approve in his hula heaven. To end this, enjoy Bob Brozman


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Blogger Durium said...

Bob Brozman really is a great slide guitar player. Thanks for sharing this and I'm anxious to hear the early Sol Hoopii recordings.

Keep Swinging

Mr. one Han(d)s

9:36 AM  

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