What happens when a young kid from Pālolo Valley starts collecting and trading hip hop tapes at age five, discovers Gregory Isaacs at age 12 (then buys every release Isaacs ever made), learns to play almost every instrument, forms a punk band with his friends at 15 (soon morphing into legendary roots group Ooklah The Moc), amasses a vinyl collection of thousands of reggae rarities (rivaling only that of his father’s massive jazz collection), studies music theory under unsung hero and fellow Pālolo resident, guitarist Jimmy Funai, then opens his own recording studio at the turn of the millenium to produce hundreds upon hundreds of original riddims? Where else to start than with a name: Jah Gumby. Surprisingly, as one of Hawaii’s deepest diggers and most progressive musicians, Gumby has yet to press a vinyl record comprised solely of his own musical works.
Also known as Ryan Murakami, the multi-instrumentalist and producer has worked extensively with artists of all walks, from low-key soulful roots singer Mr. 83 to world-renowed ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimbukuro, the on-demand Ichiban Horns powerhouse trio and longtime partner-in-vibe Kali Navales, who helped launched Father Psalms Studio in Gumby’s own home in 2003. Humility: The Vibes of Jah G is both a premier and a primer of Jah Gumby’s original creations: 16 carefully
selected tracks that showcase the artist’s ability to synthesize everything he embodies — the awareness of a true crate-digger, the immediacy of body surfing at Sandy’s, the intensity of punk, the sensibility of jazz, and the discipline of a studio engineer.
But enough said; we must let the music speak for itself.