Solo piano, Hawaiian lounge style. Now 72 years old, these are this unique pianist's first releases for 32 years. Rene Paulo was born in 1930, and grew up in Waipahu. His grandparents on his mother's side were from the Philippines, becoming naturalised US citizens after his grandfather joined the US military. Rene's musical background is in classical music, and he studied at the Julliard school in New York. He soon branched out into improvisation, listening to piano players such as Art Tatum, and boogie woogie styles. He gradually became knowledgeable in the art of improvisation and all aspects of music.
Rene got drafted into the US service himself and was in Japan for one and a half years at the beginning of the beginning of the 1950s. While there he was approached to be the arranger for the 'Six Joes' a jazz group. The leader of the group became owner of Watanabe Pro. While in Japan, Rene became known as the "King of night time jazz piano" in Roppongi, Akasaka and Ginza. His wife is 3rd generation Japanese.After returning from Japan to Hawaii, in 1958 he started recording Hawaiian music with a jazz flare for Liberty Records, as an Hawaiian lounge style became popular with mainland Americans on vacation in Hawaii. Rene approached the music from a different rhythm aspect, using polyrhythms, far removed from the usual concept of Hawaiian music. The 1960s were the heyday of his career. He toured and played venues in Las Vegas and Taho working with Alfred Apaka, Don Ho and many other Hawaiian greats. He recorded nearly 20 albums for Liberty during the 1960s. During the 1970s, the number of tourists decreased and tastes changed. In 1998 he recorded with Japanese singer Sandii on an acclaimed album. It is his style that makes Rene's music unmistakably Hawaiian, with innuendoes of the wind and the waves. This is an album of Japanese songs that Rene learnt while growing up in Hawaii. His neighborhood was populated by many Japanese immigrants and Rene learnt these songs from his Japanese friends. Including Furusato, Sukiyaki, and Ballad of Hokkaido.