Atta Issacs

Cord International

Cord International Radio

The LEGENDARY ATTA ISAACS

The Innovative Slack Key Master - 21 Tracks on 2 CDs



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REVIEW:  John Berger - Star Advertiser
Timely lesson on slack-key master
'The Legendary Atta Isaacs'
Atta Isaacs
(HanaOla)

 The timing couldn't be better for this perfect retrospective on the musical legacy of slack-key master Leland "Atta" Isaacs. The Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts recognized him in June, more or less, when it included him in a lifetime achievement award to the Isaacs Ohana --- Atta; his father, Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs Sr.; and Atta's brothers, Norman and Alvin Jr. (known professionally as Barney). The 21 songs on this two-disc anthology, and the wealth of information provided in the 24-page liner notes booklet that comes with it, make it clear that HARA owes Atta an individual lifetime achievement award as well.

Michael Cord and producer George Winston share the credit for making these recordings available in a package of this quality. Cord has committed the resources of his record label to state-of-the-art reissues of out-of-print Hawaiian records. Winston has made an unprecedented commitment to documenting the work of living slack-key masters.

The tracks represent albums Atta recorded for several different labels. It seems these days that Atta is often mentioned in ways that suggest he was Gabby Pahinui's sideman rather than peer. These recordings, and Jay Junker's liner notes, document Isaacs' status as a slack-key master who made important contributions to the evolution of the genre
and remind us that his musical relationship with Pahinui was symbiotic.

Winston assists Junker in documenting Isaacs' tunings on each recording --- essential information for researchers and students of slack key alike.