When Steel Talks

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Whenever mentioned is made of the great pan soloists and  jazz improvisation masters, none is made of Othello Molineaux? Why is that? Othello's and Monty Alexander's Ivory and Steel, Othello's works with the legendary Jaco Pastorius  and the legendary rock group Chicago, are all trailblazing moments in steelband and steel drum/pan history. ( (See Chicago X, released in 1976. Also, listen to "Another Rainy Day In New York".) I am not sure what "mainstream" is to some, but in 1976, Chicago was the top rock group on radio. That same album, Chicago X, which featured Othello (or "Tello" to his close-nit friends), also had the No. 1 hit "If You Leave Me Now". 

Those who know Tello, know he was one of the youngest musicians in Trinidad and Tobago to have his own group. When he joined Invaders (at 15 years old) as a "crack-shot" lead tenor pan player, he was already an accomplished pianist (i.e. piano player). Interestingly, he still plays the "old Invaders pan" with the large F# in the inner circle of notes. That didn't seem to bother either Monty, Jaco, or the producers of the Chicago X album. Othello Molineaux, when one looks at the timeline of events in steelband history, blazed the trail that many, including those who are mentioned today as the pioneers by many of you, now follow.

Last Sunday evening, I had a very interesting and eye-opening discussion with my friend and mentor, Mr. Othello Molineaux. He is such a humble, deeply spiritual human being. I can sense that the slight of a nation he has represented for over half a century, bothers him, but he tries very hard not to show it. As one of his "disciples", I can tell though. I thank him for our conversation, for he helped me understand why, not only himself, but my dad, and now myself, receive such scornful and slighted treatment from the very people we represent. Tello is not only wise musically, but his sense of philosophy is deeply profound. So, while others may forget you (Tello); while others may omit you from their echelon of trailblazers and personalities who took our "National Instrument" to greater heights, I, George David Goddard (aka "Pan'tum - The Ghost Who Talks"), will never forget your contributions, and look forward to many more lessons. Not just on music, but on life. As always,  my brother, Shem Em Hotep (May you always go in peace.)

BTW - Thanks you Tello, for being the ONLY steel drum/pan recording artist to mention George "Sonny" Goddard on your album, It's About Time. Keep making great music!

George D. Goddard, B.A. (Cum Laude)

Lifetime Member, National Scholars Honor Society.

On When Steel Talks as, Pan'tum - The Ghost Who Talks.

Honoring The Legacy Of George "Sonny" Goddard.

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Thanks Pan'tum for this insightful post of the "great pan (steel drum) soloist and  jazz improvisation master":

Mr. Othello Molineaux of Trinidad & Tobago. I am a fan of his steel drum contributions on various LPs/CDs---

from Chicago X to Ahmad Jamal's Nature to It's About Time--and always hungered for more "Tello" jazz. Soon to come, I hope.  How about a Pan'tum - Othello project??

For all interested WST members see Othello Molineaux's bio and some pictures at:


When I received the call from the Tello two days ago, and he thanked me for posting this discussion, do you think I need the endorsements from anyone else? When Othello Molineaux spends 46 minutes (according to my cell phone call log), chatting with you and sharing uncommon knowledge and wisdom you, do you think the words of the insignificant and mischievous have any effect on me? Tello, it is an honor and a blessing to receive your love, support, appreciation and respect. As you can verify, when you did the concert at Queen's Hall (some 20 years ago), I was not only one of your personally invited guests, but you also invited me and my "friend" to your suite at the Hilton Hotel, where we spent hours with you. I wonder if you remember in 1985, weeks after I arrived in the US, we (Emile "Spiceman" Borde, Carlton "Callie" Borde, Reno Borde, Richard Borde, yourself and I) went to a Diana Ross concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Golden, Colorado. You bought my ticket; I still have it somewhere in my collection of "old stuff". lol. Tello, I can NEVER repay you for ALL that you've done for me; ESPECIALLY the intangibles! Thanks for your support. (BTW - Sorry my cell phone battery died.)

To the "newcomers" on WST who may want to buy into the claim by others that I am not "relevant", consider that while When Steel Talks are not seeking them out for interviews, I have already been interviewed by WST There are a LOT more surprises in store for those who fool themselves into believing that I am not respected (I did not say "loved" nor "liked", as I seek no "BFFs"). Stay tuned. http://panonthenet.com/tnt/2012/interviews/georged-goddard-panorama...

Ghost Who Not Only Talks, But Says Things The Relevant People Want To Hear, Acknowledge, AND Publish!!!

Cecil, thanks for mentioning Wonder Harps. Tello shared with me some very interesting and unknown FACTS (not heresy) about Wonder Harps and their role in steelband history. Again, as in "insider", I have privy to info MOST may never be able to obtain! They can "playa hate" the Messenger, but can NEVER ignore the Message! That's my value, and When Steel Talks knows this, and appreciate my presence, regardless of the attempts to defame my name and character. When ALL is told, my name will be cleared, and history will record that I stood in defense of country and culture! (I'm just working on clearing up my dad's name first. And in that endeavor, I have been HUGELY successful!) I will continue to post discussions that are relevant to the Steelband Movement, and will push back against ANY attempts to dislodge the instrument from its history and its roots. I am reassured in knowing that I have more in common with Othello Molineaux, than I do with those who choose to disrespect me. (To the latter: do not expect ANY respect from me, for, respect is reciprocal.) My conversations with Tello over the last few days have given me the strength to face any of you who have no other agenda but to try and destroy me, and pick silly, juvenile fights. Finally, stop blaming me for your words and comments, when others call you out on them. They came from you, and you should at least be man enough to own up to your irresponsible comments. The record is clear, and shows your contempt for steelband culture. And, regardless of how you try and spin and do "damage control", I trust that the WST membership is intelligent enough to read your words, and come to their own conclusions, as to who is a "friend" or "foe" of the Steelband Movement. That, my colleagues, is an ability lacking in our "industry", for after all my dad did for the culture of the steelbands, there are still those who choose to drag his name and his contributions through the mud. Hopefully, I cleared that up, so that posterity will know what exactly is: THE GODDARD LEGACY! Now, to correct that history, so it properly records the accomplishments and contributions of another "son of the soil", Othello "Tello" Molineaux. (Again, the ONLY steelpan recording artist to make mention of George "Sonny" Goddard on his CD.)

REMEMBER: Simple minds discuss people, medium minds discuss events...Great minds discuss ideas. (Like those set forth in the "Blueprint".)

Ghost Who Talks In Ways The Simple Mind Would Never Understand. 

Hearing Othello live with Jaco's "Word of Mouth" band in the early '80s was what inspired me to play pan. When I got my first pan I wore out the "Ivory & Steel" LPs, then bought the CDs. He's an incredible musician, definitely deserving of far wider recognition. I keep hoping for another solo album. Peace, respect & pan!

It's spiritual timing that we focus on Othello Molineaux the week of his brother's ascension to Music Heaven. Continue to Rise In Peace, Jaco Pastorius!!! (Spirits don't die.)



Remember when When Steel Talk's had mature and respectful posts? What happened? I understand why Gittens begged and pleaded with the Ghost to keep posting. To be clear; I am always in a space with a purpose, and not for mischief, as some are clearly here for. I am here to ensure that history records unforgotten and inconvenient truths, some palatable and some not so palatable. My body of work here and elsewhere speaks for itself. You see, once you're coming from an honest place, God shows up and controls what is written. Like magic! Try it. You can always return to the Devil, but TRY writing inspired by God, and bear witness to the difference in your content! George.

Othello Molineaux - It's About Time + But Beautiful

Monty Alexander and friends 1981 part 1


Sanch Electronix Limited
Pan-Jazz from the Caribbean has become a mainstream genre thanks to musicians such as these.

Kelwyn Hutcheon - Mona Lisa (instrumental)

Sanch Electronix Limited
Accompanied by Anthony Rose (double second steelpans), Mervyn de Gannes (drums), and Gerald "Slam" Charles (bass), pianist Felix Roach tantalizes by playing the second line of the instrumental version of ‘Mona Lisa’ using the technique of ‘slow descending broken octaves’. The video was created from track 12 of the album 'But Beautiful' featuring vocalist Kelwyn Hutcheon.


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