11. Isa Lei (traditional Fijian)—instrumental on 6-string guitar in D Major 6/9 “Cyril’s D” Tuning (D-A-D-F#-B-E).
Cyril’s emotional rendition of this popular song of farewell from Fiji pays loving tribute to his father’s arrangement done for a series of private recordings produced by Dave Guard of the Kingston Trio back in 1961. Guard grew up in Hawai‘i and understood the significance of Gabby and his music at a time when the public, even in the islands, was not yet fully up to speed. The recordings, plus a great long interview, were finally released commercially in 1978 on the album Pure Gabby (Hula 567) (The interview is only available on the double LP version of this recording). This classic album ended with a beautiful medley of “Aloha ‘Oe” and “Isa Lei.”
As Cyril likes to say, “I just play how I feel.”