My Take Panorama 2011
by Leon Thomas
Global - There is a lot of good music being played. Bands in the Small and Medium category are making extreme and positive strides. However, the Large Bands have maintained their descent towards mediocrity. This year, like years before, everything seems to be scripted. Panorama is not earned anymore. Back in the day, Panorama had some amazing musical arrangements. Arrangers seemed to challenge themselves to produce the best with every try. Do you remember Pandemonium’s Sugar for Pan or Rebecca and In My House by Desperadoes all arranged by Clive Bradley? What about Woman is Boss by Phase II (Boogsie), Somebody by Renegades (Jit), Pan By Storm by Fonclaire (Professor)? These are all great arrangements, music that can stand up as giants to the best of them now. The non-musician could have found understanding in an arrangement and would have been able to whistle or sing a part of the song, or the entire piece. Today’s arrangements just seem to fly over the top of our heads.
Mr. Thomas - I thought I was hearing myself talk when I read your comment a short while ago. Sure enough I counted at least five drills, with minor changes of course, which were repeated from last years presentation of "Battle Zone" by Silverstars in their tune of choice this year "Showtime". I also agree the level of creativity in these talented arrangers like Boogsie, is slowly but surely dwindling.
Like my favorite calypsonian "The Mighty Chalkdust" sang some years ago, crapo smoke we pipe, if we do not wake up and do something to protect our cherished national instrument. If the level of the music diminishes, so will the desire to listen to the instrument not only locally, but also internationally.
"If the level of the music diminishes, so will the desire to listen to the instrument not only locally, but also internationally."
Totally false!!! Internationally, PAN flew the Trinidad coup decades ago maintaining a life and development of its own -- independent of the growth or stagnation in the Mecca.
More importantly, do you remember Clive Bradley's "Sailng"? Fot a long time now, the big bamds have been descending into "mediocrity". with little or no guidance from so called "judges". To me, ths is the critical issue.
Well written piece, but I have 2 comments:
1) Mentioning a string of 80s panorama hits without once mentioning any by Smooth and All Stars usually implies an anti-All Stars bias
2) You directly attacked Silver Stars but made no mention of your assessment of either Phase 2 or All Stars in 2011.
Do you see the same lack of creativity in both Boogsie and Smooth or otherwise?
Well written otherwise, some good points.
All is not lost
If you are looking for a sweet melody with an arrangement of integrity that carries and develops the melodic line throughout the song without relying on too many "pantricks" and "pantics" look no further than http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvSbFoYoqNY
The dark horse for Panorama 2011 has left the stables.
One of the best jazz musicians in the Caribbean told me yesterday that Deltones had a superb arrangement.
WST, where is the Deltones video clip ?
Silver Stars is a hard act to follow but we may be surprised by the bright star rising from the southern skies.
Go Deltones .. we watching you. There is room in pan heaven for many stars.
And Mr Shah, thank you for your superb column in last Sunday's Express and hoping that you have already penned another on pan for tomorrow's edition.
I agree about the fine Express column
To those of you not familiar with Mr Shah, he is, apart from his other pursuits, an outstanding columnist and commentator on the socio-political scene in Trinidad and Tobago.