Renegades’ 2009 Panorama offering—A son’s tribute to his father:
Amrit Samaroo, son of composer/steel band arranger extraordinaire, Dr. Jit Samaroo said that he is treating his 2009 panorama arrangement for the Bp Renegades Steel Orchestra, a song entitled Dr. Jit that was composed and sung by Winston (The Original DeFosto) Scarborough, as a celebration of his father’s contribution to the Renegades, the national panorama competition and to the music of Trinidad and Tobago in general. According to young Samaroo, the arrangement features quotations from his father’s work over the years that anyone familiar with Jit's music and with the classic Renegades sound should be able to identify.
His opening statement is a line from the chorus of the Osmonds’ One Bad Apple—the first song Jit arranged for the Renegades back in 1971 and the one that sparked the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between the two. In the chorus of the second movement, Amrit incorporated motifs from Kitchener’s Iron Man (1990)— which he considers to be a panorama classic—and the Might Sparrow’s Statue, the Renegades break through tune—it was with the Statue back in 1976 that the band first reached the semi-final round of the competition and placed second in their zone.
Further on in the tune, two of Jit’s original compositions are sampled: Utsav-Ki-Awaz (an Indian-influenced piece) is played over a simulation of tassa drumming on the tenor pans—a concept introduced by Jit in his arrangement of DeFosto’s Pan in a Rage back in 1996; the opening bars of Pan Patterns (the other original piece) closes off that section with a bridge that incorporates the descending guitar pan solo from Kitchener’s Guitar Pan, which had won Renegades its 9th panorama title back in 1997 as well as the elusive hat trick (1995/96/97) that had twice eluded them before (1984/85 and again in 1989/90).
All of Jit’s winning arrangements for Renegades are highlighted in some way or the other in the 2009 offering: The water motif from the introduction/ending of Mystery Band of 1993, as well as the bass line from the finale of Four Lara Four that was played in1995; there are also motifs from Lord Kitchener’s Pan in A Minor (1987). In one particular passage nearing the end, Amrit employs different pans in the band to play an assortment of consecutive quotations: Pan Explosion (Kitchener 1982) is played on the cellos followed by Sweet Pan (kitchener 1984) on the seconds, then Pan Night and Day (Kitchener 1985) on the tenors and the movement climaxes with the unison playing of a riff from Somebody—the Winsford Divine/Baron’s hit of 1989. Also included are the chromatic runs on the tenor pans that are synonymous with Jit’s 1992 arrangement of Kitchener’s Bees Melody.
This one is for the Doctor and you, the fans, Amrit concluded with a chuckle.