Te Vaka: Tutuki
By Mahinarangi Tocker
World class! 14 tracks of Polynesian emotion in various Pacific languages, including one in English. I have long enjoyed Te Vaka in live peformance and am a fan of leader/songwriter Opetaia Foa'i. On 'Tutuki', he takes us with Te Vaka to their clarity of sound. From the first pipe notes that dress your ears for the funkiness of track one, Samulai, you will be driven musically to feel the weather of whanau love, intimacy, heart love, and dance. Vocally and instrumentally, this is a fine recording performance. Guest vocalists Annie Crummer and Chris Thompson are surrounded by beauty from the lead vocals of Douglas Bernard (aka Fresh), Sulata, Melodee Panapa, Opetaia Foa'i - just to name some of the marvellous voices on this album. The instrumentalists too give performances of ease and freshness. Te Vaka's 'Tutuki' gets better with each listen. My favourite tracks? All of them. Out on Warm Earth Records.