When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

Duvone Stewart has stormed the CONSCIOUSNESS of PAN LOVERS GLOBALLY with his arrangement of "YEAR FOR LOVE"

I have never seen such acclaim for a PANORAMA TUNE. Spiritually, I have come to believe that THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE IS THE VOICE OF GOD -- MAJORITY RULES. But as everybody calls the performance the GREATEST IN THE HISTORY OF PANORAMA, I have to REPRESENT my GREATEST PANORAMA SONG EVER and the circumstances surrounding it.

In the EIGHTIES my father used to send me a CALYPSO VHS and a PARADE OF THE BANDS VHS and some CALYPSO TAPES after every CARNIVAL. In 1986 he sent me the USUAL PACKAGE and I ended up looking at the PARADE OF THE BANDS at some point (taped from TTT).

There was a commercial break on the TV and as the commentator came back he said some thing to the extent that you can now hear the sounds of TOKYO playing PAN IN DANGER as they moved  away from the stage. The band was "pretty far" from the stage at that time and the microphones were not loudly picking up the sound of the band and the camera appearance was pretty brief. But I became transfixed by what I heard. I had never ever before heard any STEELBAND capture the SOUL OF THE ISLAND; the essence of CALYPSO; and the vibration of a land with such pathos. And I said to myself: Who ever arranged this song HAD TO BE ON DRUGS to capture that STEELBAND spirituality.

That day PAN IN DANGER by Clive Bradley became the most memorable (and still is) STEELBAND PANORAMA PERFORMANCE in my life. (At that time I did not know who was Clive Bradley was, so I was betting in the blind. Ironically, I went to New York that summer and hooked up with George Victory and had access to all his studio recordings and all that comes with filling in the blanks.)

Only one other PIECE OF TRINIDAD CALYPSOUL has ever taken me to that place again -- but I will leave that alone.

Lilian Sten was one of the first posters on this forum to recognize and praise the genius of DUVONE STEWART and her writings seemed PROPHETIC at the time. So as the world celebrates DUVONE STEWART, I know how it feels to be KNOCKED OUT by a STEELBAND ARRANGER and ARRANGEMENT -- if only ONCE IN MY LIFE.

Views: 872

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

S.F.Thomas, The Wrecker by Solo Harmonites was 1968 and The Bull by Angostura Starlift was 1969.

Mr. Clarke: Give us a good PAN STORY, nah!!!

Seriously !!!U guys are actually equating past panorama giants as Pan in Harmony by Despers,Du Du yemi by Starlift.That created the most dust ever seen in the savannah.Woman on the base by AllStars,Rebecca by Desperadoes.I can call about six other  giant panorama songs that this 2018 arrangement  don't even come close.Roll.the tapes guys. It was the winning tune for 2018 period.Not even the best panorama tune  by Renegades.

Mr. Currency go to the head of the class. A deserving 2018 winner,not the best Renegades winning tune, roll the tapes,more than six other giants, six within Renegades' many victories alone.

U got  that right Mr Clarke. 

Ah ha !! Ah see we still have some level headed people on the forum man that's great. This was a great winning arrangement by Duvone but there were even loosing arrangements that could compare and for argument sake even surpass it . 

PAN BY STORM, PAN RISING, SAILING, SOUCOUYANT , to name a few. The fact is we give credit where it's due and Duvone deserves his but we must not have short and selective memory, too much great music has come before that should not be forgotten !

I want folks to observe that judging from the interviews I've seen with Duvone he seems to be a humble individual and always takes time out to give compliments to the older veteran arrangers that came before him, some of whom are still active presently, that's because he knows music enough to acknowledge that 'class is permanent but form is temporary' !!

Hi Guys....Like all the comments...but tell you all something, when the people of today reach 60-65 yrs old they will be boasting of the best tune renegades ever done was in 2018. lol

Hi all,

I like all the comments, and memories. The memories especially are needed to keep Duvonne's achievement in perspective.

When I give his 2018 piece a Greatest of All Time accolade, it is because of the overall conception and coherence of the piece. In that it is akin to a symphonic arrangement, with beginning, middle, and end, all thematically coherent and worked out. It is almost mathematical in its inevitability as it goes from the starting statement of musical theme, to a "working out" of the middle passages, the transition to that abandon demanded by the art form, and then the satisfying musical resolution at the end.

That is why I made the point in another thread that the piece works at (at least) three levels: 1) for the musician as artist seeking beauty/perfection for its own sake; 2) the musical consumer, seeking to "leggo" to a great piece of carnival music, and 3) for the connoisseur looking to wrap his head around the arrangement as a piece of musical architecture  -- its design and construction -- and asking why it works so well.

The answer to that last I think lies in the dynamics of pressure -- pressure applied and pressure released, in some sort of psycho-acoustic sense, in a fairly precise analogy to a love-making session. All the great arrangers have  an in-built sense of that kind of dynamics.

But where Duvonne in my mind stands out is in the overall coherence and inevitability of the arrangement. There are no wasted moves. I get the sense he even arranged the engine room. With other arrangements, including some to the greatest pieces ever, there is not a similar sense that the piece is organically perfect in its coherence.

There are two analogies I can think of. One is to a chess game where there is no wasted move: every move is calculated either to apply pressure, or release pressure applied. Another is to a good stew: a perfect stew is one where even the best chef cannot imagine a tweak that would improve it, either by adding another ingredient, taking away an ingredient already added, or modifying the cooking method.

That is why I think I suggested on that other thread that Beethoven would be envious of that particular arrangement. In its musical architecture, it is not merely sweet as demanded by the art form, but classically rigorous in doing all what is required, but not overdoing anything.

In general, the steelband panorama art form allows for overdoing, especially in the middle passages -- the jam, the lavway -- where abandon is called for by the musical consumer. For example, Harmonites did a great rendition of the Archbishop of Pan some few years ago under Seion Gomez, that was sweet for days in the middle passages, but lacking in overall architecture and musical conception, because the intro was weak and musical resolution in the end also was lacking. But the middle passages would have been well calculated to transport the musical consumer into a bliss state on the road on a carnival day.

The proper evaluation of Duvonne's piece requires that one look at it as musical architecture arranged in time, with no wasted move as in a good chess game, and with little another master musician could thinking of adding to it or taking away from it that would  result in improvement. That is why I insist that Duvonne's 2018 piece, Year of Love, is one for the ages. 

One thing for certain: Duvonne with that contribution has established himself as one of the greats. Definitely, one has the sense that there is much more wherever that came from.

-Big Sid

"Archbishop of Pan" - Solo Harmonites (2012 Panorama Large Band FINALS)

Big Sid

Merrytones use to say Bradley's "In My House" with Desperadoes in 1999 was the best of all time. He seems to now agree with you about Duvone's "Year for Love".  I am looking forward to next year already.


No sah..."In My House" was for me...the best of the 90's...My best of all times still is "Pan in Harmony"...Bradley was way ahead of the field back then...

Merrytonestothebone,I know it's an opinion and everyone will have theirs, but I agree with you about Pan In Harmony by Bradley. For me it's the best panorama tune musically and otherwise in 55 years. It you listen attentively and think of the name.....oh gawd look trouble ah start here now.. lol


© 2019   Created by When Steel Talks.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service