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Clive Bradley - The Master Remembered on His Birthday

Today is the birthday of the late master arranger Clive Bradley. He would have been 82 years old today - Sunday November 4, 2018.


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Still the Greatest, no pan discussion is held without his name being called, he is the "yardstick" by which most measure an arranger, where ever you are Sir, Happy Birthday.



There is probably always be arguments about the best Clive Bradley panorama arrangement ; many say it was Super Blue's "Rebecca" , some say otherwise.


To me , the quintessential Bradley panorama piece didn't win Panorama.

To me , the choice of this tune as a panorama piece, its bold phrasing , the powerful , almost hypnotic bass arrangement, the pace , and overall style screams "Clive Bradley".

From Panorama Finals 2001 , here is Clive Bradley's arrangement of Shadow's "Yuh Lookin fuh Horn"

Bold indeed... And he almost won...

Pan Times what wrong with and ole knee Glenroy….lol…don't you two know by now that Bradley's best ever tune was Pan in Harmony?...

Merrytones, I have a new knee now , so i can still kick butt :)

Note I did not say best, but quintessential, meaning the tune the sounded to me most like Bradley as I remember his music and influence.

Another Despers Panorama tune that is pure Bradley (as I hear his music) is "The Jammer" from 1984.

Winsford Devines "The Jammer" ( sung by Baron) , performed by Desperadoes.

Merrytones I remember a lot of Bradleyites felt that Bradley had lost his mind by picking this tune. LOL

Bradley's best? That is a very difficult or impossible question to answer. For me, the arrangements that really showed off his musical intellect was "Celebrate" with Pantonic and "Music in Meh Blood" with Desperadoes. There are about at least ten musical themes of celebration from all over the world embedded in that arrangement. Simply brilliant. His most culturally significant would be "Whop Cocoyea". I still think he and Desperadoes won that year. But that is a discussion for another thread at another time.

Bassman was played by several bands when it came out... and in 2001 Stranger was very popular with bands particularly in Brooklyn..

An underrated classic of the 1970s panorama is I Come Out To Play as arranged by Merlin Gill for Curepe Scherzando...

Zanda arranged Horner Man for Deltones in 2004.

Yohan Popwell's first win in Trinidad was Dingolay for Sforzata. He also arranged Bassman this year for Scherzando.

...I am sure there are more...

Thanks for correction Noah, all I remember is hearing Dingolay in New York.

Whenever the discussion arises of Bradley's greatest works I am reminded that some of the best ones are hidden behind the Rebeccas and Party Tonights. I implore any lover of his music to seek out:

-Bassman (Desperadoes)

-Pan In The 21st Century (Desperadoes)

-Pan In Danger (Tokyo)

-Sugar For Pan (Pandemonium)

-One Day (Valley Harps)

-Calypso Coup (Starlift)

-Mind Yuh Business (Nutones)

Noah, which of Bradley's arrangements will you say is his greatest?

Too many factors involved for me to say just one. But it seems that by all accounts, as an achievement in regards to placement, performance, and lasting quality, Rebecca stands above all.

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