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No. 49 (November 1964)
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Records

reviewed by Alan Armstrong

‘Maori Melodies’
by Ann Holmes

zodiac EPZ 119 7in 45 EP

Ann Holmes was born in Australia. She began as a serious student of the piano and finished up by abandoning all in favour of a childhood love for the wurlitzer theatre organ. She is well known to Aucklanders for her several years as organist at the Civic Theatre, and thanks to regular appearances on radio her name and playing has become known to many more. In this record Ann Holmes takes to the console of a Gulbransen organ and plays a most sparkling selection of Maori songs. It is always encouraging when Pakeha musicians take Maori music and give it a new dimension, increasing its appeal for yet another section of public.

If you like organ music you will enjoy this record. If you like modern Maori songs then the record will doubly appeal.

‘Maori Troubadours’

Festival FX 5070 7in 45 EP

The Maori Troubadours are another group of young Maoris who have sought fame and fortune with some success in this country and overseas. This record features a number of Maori songs plus a competently performed, but far too fast rendition of ‘Ringa Pakia’. (It really is about time groups making recordings gave this taparahi a rest.) The group's leader ‘Tui Latui’ (a stage name I presume) introduced each item with what the cover blurb describes as ‘a further touch of Maori charm’. Despite this nauseating description, I am forced to agree that the spoken introductions do give the record a little extra something.

‘Tui Latui’ speaks English with a pleasant Tuhoe accent. Unfortunately in some of the numbers the group seems to have tempered their Maori pronunciation to Wooloomooloo as a result of their sojourn in Australia and there are some bizarre results which will grate on the ears of many Maori listeners. One aspect of their singing style which I found unpleasant was a periodic breaking into a most unpleasant falsetto. When it happened for the first time I took a hasty glimpse at the cover to see if I had overlooked a female singer with the group.

All in all, however, this is quite a pleasant and unpretentious little recording. The Maori Troubadours are to be commended for featuring, with reasonably good taste, the music of their own people and not some stomping cacophonous effusion from the field of pop music.

mr jackie hotu of Titahi Bay, Wellington, hopes soon to manufacture and market inlaid paua shell fire surrounds, wall panels and tiles. Mr Hotu, a fisherman for paua, has successfully worked out a method of setting small fragments of paua shell in a concrete base, following a technique somewhat similar to that used in making terrazzo.

A great deal of interest has been shown in Mr Hotu's work, and one big firm has told him that they will buy as much as he can produce.

the tawhiti isolated branch of Maori Women's Welfare League recently organised a highly successful fund-raising baby contest. The purpose was to build a cottage at Te Puia Springs where relatives of very ill patients at the hospital would be able to stay. Altogether £1,500 was raised, a sum that far exceeded the hopes of the organisers. The winning baby was Baby Goldsmith, who was crowned with due ceremony by Miss Iritekura Beale, patroness of the Tawhiti Isolated Branch.

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