Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
Well, ah old school PANORAMA player and PAN lover who was around from 1963 and played from 1966 (and is still active in today's pan world) called me up to tell me that he have a BIG PROBLEM with what is being offered today as PANORAMA MUSIC. So the first thing I do is tell the man that I really doh know nothing about PAN MUSIC even though I does be keeping the Ole talk alive on the forum. But that eh stop the man from telling his gripes with the PANORAMA TODAY.
He say that he could LIST many PANORAMA TUNES starting with the FOUR by Earl Rodney for Harmonites, Beverly Griffith and Bradley for Desperadoes, Jit for Renegades, Ray Holman for Starlift and so forth and so on … and when he compare those songs to what he heard in THIS PANORAMA he keep saying that PANORAMA has taken a RETROGRADE STEP. But he had to remember that there was no more LORD KITCHENER or MIGHTY SPARROW and proper CALYPSOS to give the arrangers a challenge.
Well I listening to the man (today) and I thinking that merrytonestothebone and Dr. deLight (two PAN EXPERTS) done tell me that this was the GREATEST PANORAMA in the history of PAN -- and I don't think dem two men THAT YOUNG!!!
The man continue to say that all the arrangers have to work with today is two chord and three chord MELODYLESS TUNES and how Duvone was as creative as could be with what he had to work with and that put over by the entire band was very good and so was SKIFFLE. But what he had a real problem with was when the same panel of judges have you in front by 2 points in a prelim and by 4 in the semis -- they cannot justify placing you SECOND in the FINAL PERFORMANCE unless you messed up somewhere like Desperadoes at the start or during the rendition.
He said that inside players are saying (front row players for Desperadoes) that Zanda miffed the count with the first two single beats in order but doubled on the third (causing some players to start as if it was FOUR ( tap tap tap-tap) then added another stroke (tap tap tap-tap tap). Causing other players to start on "FIVE".
(That was chaos right there because one listener on the chat I was on caught it immediately and said: "Like dey pulling a bus" and we all laughed.)
So the man going on and on explaining that PANORAMA has gone in a direction that he doh like and if this is the new direction then half of the arrangers who played last SATURDAY NIGHT should just TAKE AH BOW and ride into the sunset. (Well, I had already pointed at EXODUS on the forum; but he expanded the list.) However, he insisted that ZANDA knows how to work with today's music.
But some of the other OLD ARRANGERS swearing that they are not going down this NEW ROAD!!! However, yuh know that an ARRANGER is a PRIVATE CONTRACTOR and when they see that big $100,000 cherry check dangling in front of their faces they will CHANGE THEIR TUNE who cares if they WIN. They know that they have no chance of winning in the modern game (making it to the FINALS is the best they could do) but THE FAT PAY CHECK is an automatic win for them.
(I am sure that a few people heard KENNY PHILLIPS say on the broadcast that the bands should start EXTENDING CHORDS; that they are TOO STUCK on TRIADS. So if the man who call me right and is only two and three chords in the songs and then the arrangers not skilled enough to move beyond TRIADS -- I say we just JAM THE CALYPSO and forget about all this SYMPHONIC approach to MY CALYPSO!!!)
what! all this insight in old talk; you real skilful Mr. claude.
but i must disagree with some of your panda sentiments. Mainly the one with it is easier to arrange a two chord or three chord tune. Any arranger will tell you that Kitch, Defosto and all the others who created good pan song over the years gave the arranger so much content it was easy to extended their verse and chorus to a 8 min piece.
doing a two chord song the arranger has to do a lot of reharmonisation, therefore they must have a sound knowledge on substituting and extending chords and relatives keys in order not to be come repetitive. keeping the music interesting for 8 mins is a goal of every arranger. Duvon is a boss tho, because he do very little reharmonisation and still have enough musical devices in the 8 min piece the keep the listener excited from begin to end.
but nice discussion. i invite mr. merry tones to give us his take on the topic. that man is a boss arranger.
Thanks for the lil flattery Aquil...I'm not accustomed to people noticing my efforts, moreso publicly...Anyway I too am in agreement with your take on the present trend in Panorama music choices. In the first place (allow me to digress a bit) I am not atall in favour of the back-in-times music, never was, not even for single pan bands. The way I see it, carnival is always about newness, even ole mas is always about current topics. Plus I see choosing old tunes as a slap in the face of modern day composers because the way it stands a composer would have to wait till his music get old before a steelband plays it. That can't make sense to me.
While the casual Panorama music connoisseur may frown on a two or four chord tune, thinking that it hardly offers much in way of a challenge. I invite anybody reading this to take time to listen to two tunes by the legendary jazz icon John Coltrane. Listen to "Mr Day" and "Impressions". Both these tunes, while possessing very lyrical melodies are constructed upon extremely minimal chord progressions. Successful performance of both these pieces requires advance knowledge of and ability to improvise on your chosen instrument. It should be no surprise that Duvonne, Zanda, Liam, Boogsie and a host of other experts at the craft of improv would choose the modern minimalistic tunes.
Unlike older tunes which for the most part were constructed on top of chord progresssions that didn't offer much in way of deviation where re-harmonizing was concerned, modern tunes provide a sterner challenge for any arranger worth his/her salt. As Bradley would say ad nauseum..."less is more"... What do you think his response would have been to the current crop of soca hits?
post the two true on the forum nah man...
Impressions is essentially a re-make of Miles Davis's So What. The tune is built on a chord progression of two minor sevenths, a semitone apart ...
Listen to the possibilities...
Ah need a big favour, boie. If anybody cud help me it go be you. See meh piddly plight.
This padnah ah mine phone me dis morning and start excoriating me for saying this and saying that on the forum.
Ah say, "Jack (he real name is Jackson) I never say dat. Besides, I jess come from church wid de wife. Wha nonsense yuh telling meh, dis peaceful glorious Sunday morning?"
"Check it. Check it," he advising.
"Or-rite. Or-riteeeee!" and I hang up.
Mr Gonzales, I taking off meh church clothes and I barely get de dress shoe off meh right foot (is pain, eh?) and the phone ring again.
Claude, hear meh as ah answer, "Aye padnah. Wha 'appening, Man? (he real name is Mansing). De last time I hear yuh speak de troot (wid ballune going up & confetti coming dong) was when yuh whisper 'Ah tink Renegades cut we arse tonight'."
"D! D! Yuh always making joke; buh, dey hav a dude on de foeRum saying ting yuh eh say. Check it. Check it. Doh gawne say nutton an geh de dude vex, eh? Yuh know you? He go tell yuh go to hell!"
Claude, ah had wus to tell him…..
Ah say, "Man (he real name is Mansing, eh?) you songing jess like Jack. I jess cum from praying for dis country ... coz de way crime is, in dis country now, hell cyah be dat far away. So me eh digging! De most it go cost meh is ah 'short drop'.
He laffing an' I and I laffing. (Claude dah song like 3 ah we. Buh is only 2). But ah remind him: "Man, jess yuh remember — 'All skin teete eh laff, eh?'" And I hang up.
Mr Gonzales, ah now get de sock off de right foot and de wife go look to ask meh, "Sweetheart, who vex yuh?"
Claude, ah gentleman of your proven experience know only too well — 'Doh—ansah—dat. At lease not at dis moment. Don't!'
Mr Gonzales, at my age, love is no longer a many splendoured ting — it is de ONLY ting. I know you would offer comfort and consolation dat love is bettah de second time arong. Well leh me remind you, as I divulged to Cecil several years ago — for me,....is the 3rd (not turd!!!) time arong. An' I and I is very happy. (You would think I would get it right by now after perusing de 'play book' 3 times. I looking for full marks for content and of course, presentation. De engine room – de rhythm sec-shun is annuda story.)
"Nobody eh vex meh, honey. Brakefass ready?"
[Dah is how yuh duz do it, Claude ..........on a peaceful Sunday morning.]
I digressed ever so slightly — Am easy.
So Claude, the request is: Would you send me the link (you know everything on the forum. Seriously.) to substantiate what dis dude say that I said. He may very well be correct, but personally, I want to think he's got me mixed up with someone else. Or, he is probably just attempting to apply CPR to the forum at the expense of calumniating me.
Nevertheless, Mr Gonzales, both you and I know, at least understand, the difference between 'shit talk' and talking shit. Yah kno wha ah mean? Sure you do. :-)
On a serious slant:
Yesterday, I was about to respond to MTTTB when I was sidetracked (blindsided) by another posting concerning the despicable and inexcusable treatment of Mr Kellman. Is there more to this story?
If this story is accurate (and I am not saying it isn't) then I am in total agreement with Bugs — 'Heads must roll'. I didn't get a chance to thank ODW for his enlightening video responses (once again), especially the one with your boy, Andy.
Do you honestly think you can put a figure to the number of hammer strokes this uncompromising and gallant panman has made to date? I dare say not one (!) stroke of his hammer was ever made with the intention of receiving an award. Think about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Each stroke was a strike for perfection in his art. That is pan passion!!
If this story is accurate, someone has humiliated a very humble man.
I am embarrassed and, moreover, angry as hell ... this glorious and peaceful Sunday morning.
Dr. deLight: As a LIFELONG fan of STAND UP COMEDY, I sometimes indulge in hyperbole, exaggeration, overstatement, embellishment, magnification, overkill and puffery.
It is also a beautiful SUNDAY MORNING here: 53 degrees, bright sunshine and blue skies. So we have something in common, today!
Yes!!! The "BIRCH" story is true and sad. But what makes it worse is that NOBODY wants to ruffle the feathers of KEITH DIAZ -- so the disrespect will die a NATURAL DEATH!!!
Did you say 'overstatement'? What an understatement!!
You forgot “sarcasm”! Did it slip you? [I await your indulgence in chiasmi.]
I am still your #1 fan, anyway .....................…………….as of this peaceful and glorious Sunday.
It strikes me (rightly or wrongly), that almost every reputable pan-side in this land has somehow, and at sometime touched a ‘Kellman’ pan.
Can this embarrassing fiasco be the tenor-pan stick that buss the bass drum? ….so to speak.
My feeling is simple:- CHANGE is necessary. And it is a-coming!
But change will occur only when we are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Right now it seems — You sick. And I tired. :-) :-) :-)
Doctor, was deLightful hearing your story of marital BLISS..."Mr Gonzales, at my age, love is no longer a many splendoured ting — it is de ONLY ting. I know you would offer comfort and consolation dat love is bettah de second time arong. Well leh me remind you, as I divulged to Cecil several years ago — for me,....is the 3rd (not turd!!!) time arong. An' I and I is very happy. (You would think I would get it right by now after perusing de 'play book' 3 times."
I share this movie clip to explain why, with three strikes at my age no chance of opting out...enjoy
Hot Shots! Part Deux. Torture
I think your friend has a point , Claude.
Like I said before , from a lay person's viewpoint , the music is changing , and becoming more melodic and pan friendly , but the difference is arrangers like Bradley and Beverly worked in an era where our best composers were writing music for pan , because the steelbands determined the road march.
Even in the early calypso-soca days , those older artists like Kitch and others were still producing "pan friendly " melodies.
Today , however since most tunes are geared for dj play , fhe younger artists started concentrating on creating dj hits , and melodies to bring out the sweetness of pan became an afterthought , maybe even irrelevant.
I happen to think that Bradley and even Jit's greatness as panorama arrangers were partly due to the quality of source material they had available to work with.
Thank you very, Mr. Joseph!!! You save me and my friend from the BEATING that Aquil Arrindell and merrytonestothebone were putting on us!!! My friend know more about PANORAMA music than Aquil and merrytonestothebone put together. So I was just letting them run dey run until a real PANORAMA MUSIC HISTORIAN (like you) come and set the record straight.
Claude and Glenroy...this is why I try to refrain from any serious discussion about anything here (without success anyway) I am not sharing here to simply to win an argument, which you Claude ALWAYS seem hell bent on. Let us...let musical mind even discuss music. What happened in the 60's and 70's and 90's happened. We are now in 2018 and Panorama has to deal with what is happening now...Plain and simple. There was a time when Panorama Finals were held mere hours before jouvert morning...hence the music was very different to what applies now. Music back then had to cater for the celebratory jouvert jump up. Modern Panorama music is a case of "sid dong...rock back...clap"...
I really long for serious discourse on Panorama music...analysis even...but clearly that is wishful thinking...
don't get so emotional merry tones sometimes. Ignorance is bliss so i usually leave ppl in their because it is a nice place to be.
Mr claude and i had a discussion recently about the same thing, ignorance in the arts..... most of the time when you learn all the technical stuff you begin to overanalyse and the art becomes a study other that something to enjoy.
so let us not buss them fellas bubble because ours buss already. lol.