The Kalapana Thread

I’ve been listening to Kalapana’s first album, and while I looking at their discography on Apple Music, I noticed a lot of albums I never really listened to. I don’t think I realized they had so many especially in the late 70s and early 80s. In this thread, I plan to go through their discography, although I don’t know if I’ll make it all the way through.

5 thoughts on “The Kalapana Thread

  1. Kalapana (1975)

    (Note: I listened to this after listening to Kalapana II.)

    (According to wikipedia)

    Mackey Feary–vocals
    Malani Biyeu–vocals, guitar
    Kirk Thompson–keyboards, vocals
    DJ Pratt–guitar, vocals
    Bill Perry–bass
    Larry Brown–drums.
    Jackie Kelso–sax and flute,


    • I have an affinity for songs driven by acoustic guitar strumming, and Kalapana’s music is probably one of the main reasons for this. “The Hurt” and “What Do I Do” have the type of guitar strumming that appeal to me.
    • All the music I’ve heard so far stands up well. I think one of the main reasons for this is the instrumental aspects of the music. The recording quality sounds really good as well.
    • The bass sounds good on this album.
    • “Everything is Love”–the instrumentation outshines the vocals and lyrics on this.
    • Solid album.

    Kalapana II (1976)


    Mackey Feary–vocals, bass
    Malani Biyeu–vocals, guitar
    Kirk Thompson–keyboards, vocals
    DJ Pratt–guitar, vocals
    Alvin Fejarang–drums
    Michael Paulo–reeds


    • I never really knew Kalapana’s drummer’s name, and I really didn’t thin of the drumming. But the drumming stood out on “Freedom”–to the point where I wanted to know who was playing.
    • I also didn’t realize that Mackey Feary was the bassist for the group–or at least seems to be on this album. I like what I’m hearing so far, and the bass is also recorded well.
    • Kurt told me his favorite Kalapana song is “Black Sand which kinda surprised me. It’s a solid song, and it sounds good as I listen to it. I just thought he would have chosen something else.
    • “Wandering Stranger”–has a country feel, or something inspired by The Band. When I listened to this album in high school, this was one probably one of my least favorite song of theirs. It’s not my favorite type of music, but I appreciate it more now, and like the change of pace quality.
    • “Nathen’s Lament” was another song that wasn’t really a favorite. I appreciate the musicianship and writing a lot more. Fun song.
    • This is a good album, and I might prefer it to the first one; maybe because it seems more jazz influenced.
  2. Kalapana III (1977)


    • I’m tempted to skip this because Mackey Feary’s not on it.
    • “Alisa Lovely” is a decent song, I kinda like the chorus, but the vocals are not that great (DJ Pratt).
    • “Dilemma”–not really listening to the lyrics, but the music is just meh.
    • “Inarajan”–almost a 60’s rock n’ roll, doo-wop a la The Four Seasons, Latin-y (?). I guess it’s points for the attempt, but I’m a bit disappointing. (I think it ends with references to “Who Loves You”)
    • “Mana”–instrumental. I’m liking it so far; I like it better than the other tracks, anyway.
    • “Seasons”–samba influenced pop. Randy Aloya vocals are disappointing. There are so interesting moments in the song, but on one listening, the song doesn’t seem that great, as well.
    • Listening to this makes me wonder if Feary’s contributions went beyond his vocals. The songs and the instrumental aspects of the music seem inferior to the previous albums. On the other hand, this is the first time I’ve heard most, if not, all of the music. So it’s possible I might like the music a lot more with repeated listening. I tend to think that’s not the case, though.
  3. The Mackey Feary Band (1978) The Mackey Feary Band

    Mackey Feary–vocals, bass, guitar
    Gaylord Holomalia, David Yoshiteru–keys
    Jimmy Funai–guitar (solo on “It Takes Two”?)
    Kevin Daley–drums
    Gabe Baltazar–alto-saxophone (on “It Takes Two”)

    Obviously, this is not a Kalapana album, but I was curious to hear what this sounded like, and compare it to the Kalapana III album, especially since this was Feary’s first album after leaving Kalapana.


    • Several tracks on this–along with the way Kalapana III sounded–creates the impression that Feary was the primary source for the jazz and R&B influence in the group. I wonder if the other Kalapana members didn’t like these influences
    • “I Remember You” (not the Kui Lee song)–With the use of strings, along with the melody, reminds me of an Elton John song (e.g., “Someone Saved My Life”)
    • I like these songs a lot more than the ones on Kalapana III. They definitely have a better groove. I would have liked to have heard these songs played with Kalapana II group.
    • “It Takes Two”–features a horn section, a solo by Gabe Baltazar (I assume); not exceptional, but pleasant to hear
    • “Interlude in Mood”–instrumental with a Spanish guitar opening.
    • “Powerslide”–I listened to both the shorter and longer versions of thi instrumental. Lots of wah-wah, making me think of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, although this isn’t as funky to me. After the first 2:30 seconds of the longer version, the song abruptly shifts into a slower tempo, with a just OK guitar solo. At the 4:00 minute mark, it shifts back into the original tempo and overall tune. The music is sort like the type you’d hear on a 70’s cop show (e.g., Starsky and Hutch); short conga solo near the end.
  4. Full Moon Tonight (1993)

    DJ Pratt–vocals, guitar
    Mackey Feary–vocalis, guitar
    Malani Biyeu-vocals, guitar
    Gaylord Holomalia–keyboard, vocals
    Kenji Sano–bass, vocals
    Carlos Vega–drums
    Arno Lucas–percussion
    Michael Paulo–flute, saxophones

    (On a side note, getting information about Kalapana albums is very difficult.)


    • I like the album cover, which looks like it was made for a Hawaiian Island Creations or Local Motion t-shirt in the 80s.
    • I wasn’t very interested in Kalapana’s 80’s and 90’s music for some reason, but that’s changed for several reasons. First, I’m interested in hearing 80’s music that I never really listened to when it first came out; in other words, 80’s music that will sound fresh to me. Second, I’m more interested in music that fuses pop, jazz, and R&B/soul/funk. I think that’s always been a part of Kalapana’s MO, but here they’re updating it with a 80’s/90’s vibe.
    • “You Must Believe”–This is a Curtis Mayfield cover, but it has a late 80s, early 90s groove–reminiscent of something like Amy Grant’s “Love Will Find a Way.” Malani on vocals. (The album generally alternates between Malani and Mackey, which works well.)
    • “The Real Thing”–I recall hearing and liking this song when it first came out. I recall being impressed with the quality of the song, thinking that this could be popular on the mainland. (I was disappointed to learn that Bobby Caldwell wrote and performed it originally.)
    • “Keanae Breeze”–OK
    • “Chablis”–slower ballad; OK; OK keyboard solo.
    • “Seaside M”–I’m not sure exactly why, but I like the chorus on this; I like the bridge on this, too. Mackey again.
    • “Winter of ’69”–kinda reminds me a little of Patrick Swayze’s “She’s Like the Wind.”
    • “Surf Sequence”–short instrumental; OK
    • “Full Moon Tonight”–Kinda like this one; Malani singing again.
    • “Paradise Roma”–simple, but catchy melody; 90’s smooth jazz; like.
    • “Jody”–pretty good; groove sounds like Daryl Hall’s “I Can’t Stop Dreaming.
    • “Dana’s Tune”–solid song; Mackey singing
    • “Hawaiian Wedding Song”–smooth jazz version of this. It’s probably as bad as it sounds, but I liked it more than I thought I would. /li>
    • “Kick It”–(Need to evaluate this later.)
  5. Hurricane (1986)

    Personnel (as best as I can tell):

    Malani Biyeu
    Mackey Feary
    DJ Pratt
    Gaylord Holomalia (keyboards)
    Kenji Sano (bass)
    (no idea who was on drums or saxophone)

    I was going to take notes, but I don’t think I have much to say, not about specific songs. In general, the album has a very 80s feel, including a 80s R&B/jazz flavor. That’s generally a good thing. Most of the songs seem fine, but nothing much more than that. Maybe a few will grow on me over time?

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