Don Tiki - the keepers of the exotica flame - have released their fourth album This new album is their first in five years and features 16 fresh tracks and over 70 minutes of lush, seductive melodies. Drawing inspiration from original exotica masters Marty, Arty and Les (Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, Les Baxter), Don Tiki boldly moves this evocative genre of music into the 21st century.
Don Tiki kicks off the CD with "Friendly Islands," a sweet exotica classic sung originally by the sultry Ethel Azama back in the late 50 s when Hawai i became the 50th State. The sweet `n loverly Hai Jung will set your heart afire with her sexy vocals, while Sharene Lum gently plucks your emotions on harp. The track also features Hawaii's most stellar musicians - Noel Okimoto on drums and vibes, Dean Taba on bass, Carlinhos de Oliveira on guiro, caxixi, and rainstick, and Don Tiki's fearless leader, Perry Coma (Kit Ebersbach) on piano and celesta.
The next song, "Odd Man Out," features forbidden sounds played on visually spectacular instruments smuggled in from Burma, Thailand and Viet Nam. The patwaing, the patellar, naal, and Chinese tomtom blend magically with Hawaiian and Brazilian percussion instruments like the `ili`ili, kala`au, ka`eke`eke, cuica, pandeiro, udu and chimta. Lopaka Colon, son of Augie Colon, adds a jungle jazz overlay on bongo and dumbek.
"Turkish Delight" conjures up the perfumed, divan-pillowed chambers of a traditional pasha s harem. Next up is "The Forbidden Finger," a jazzolicious romp, lovingly dedicated to the vocalese doodlings of Esquivel, Swingle Singers, and Les Double-Six de Paris. The intrepid Jim Howard contributes an amazingly effortless solo over some twisted chord changes, ones which would easily trip up mere mortal flautists. Delmar De Wilde, Hai Jung, and Starr Kalahiki soar on vocals with Rockford Holmes on alto flutes, Noel Okimoto on bongos and vibes, Dean Taba on bass, and Perry Coma on piano.
The tantalizing "Bla Bla Cha Cha" features Don Tiki's own cover girl, Sherry Shaoling, on bravura vocals, with Rockford Holmes doing his level best to keep up with her on the saxophones. Ms. Sherry "owns" this tune and it has become a Don Tiki live show stopper with quixotic choreography and elaborate costumes. Put on your "Tinfoil Hats" as Ryoko Oka deftly creates a mesmerizing rhythmic pattern on the t`rung, an unearthly Vietnamese glockenspiel constructed exclusively of bamboo tubes and rubber bands.
Come fly away with Don Tiki as they continue on their global musical trek. On the album, you'll encounter "Billions of Brazilians," or find yourself "In Thailand" where the temptations prove to be too much for mere mortals. Jimmy Borges contributes his smooth vocals on the Yo Ma-Ma mix, in sharp contrast to Delmar's Deluxe mix on the final bonus track.
Forget it all in Don Tiki's secret Bedouin bar as you sip your "Pagan Lust" slowly. The next thing you know, you're "Pussyfooting" into a "Chinatown Bar" with Delmar deWilde for more delusions of sensual satisfaction. Evoking the sounds of a paradise lost, this tiki-lounge experience transports you to another world - one filled with the music of a forgotten past but infused with an unmistakable modern lounge vibe. Find yourself...lose yourself...the exotic journey is up to you.
01. Friendly Islands
02. Odd Man Out
03. Turkish Delight
04. The Forbidden Finger
05. Bla Bla Cha Cha
06. Tinfoil Hats
07. In Thailand (Yo Ma-Ma Mix)
08. Chinatown Bar Cha Cha Cha
10. Jungle Julie
11. Billions Of Brazilians
12. Pajama Tops
13. The Palanquin
14. Pagan Lust
15. Rapture Of The Deep
16. In Thailand (Delmar's Deluxe Mix)