When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

THE NIGHT RON BERRIDGE DROPPED A "BOMB"

The talk had been spreading for months.

Ron Berridge, the former trumpet player for the Clarence Curvan Orchestra, was forming a super group made up of some of the best musicians in the land.

Included were such music stalwarts as Roy Cape on alto saxophone, the man we knew as "Oxley" on trombone, the Berridge brothers on trumpets, and a quirky guitarist from south called Earl Lezama.

The rhythm was anchored by "Toby" Tobias on drums and master bassist Conrad Little.

Even the conga player, Terry was an extremely skilled and versatile drummer.

And then there was  Billy Green, one of the Green brothers who were also founding members of the legendary Southern Marines Steel orchestra.

Billy was probably the best timbales player ever from Trinidad, and one of the two best to come out of Marabella,( the other being my former band mate Wendell (Creeper) Reece, but I digress).

The night came for the band's debut performance at the Naparima Club in San Fernando, and in the audience were musicians, music lovers, and musician wannabees (like myself) and plain old party people.

We all waited impatiently, and finally the signal was given and the band started to play.

The tune chosen for their introduction was called "Tuxedo Junction", which was a number one hit from 1939 by the Glenn Miller orchestra.

No one danced; everyone listened intently as the band strutted its stuff.

The arrangement featured muted trumpets, a rarity in Trinidad music at that time, and we all stood spellbound.

Standing next to me, was the famous trumpet player Frank Joseph (no relation).

I heard him mutter" It's so good when musicians understand each other"

Finally the music was over, and we all applauded.

The BEST big band ever to come out of Trinidad had appeared on the scene.

Ron Berridge had indeed dropped his bomb.

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Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on July 28, 2011 at 5:39pm
Sid,
Nah!
Comment by ERNILCoker on July 28, 2011 at 2:29pm
You are so right Ron Berridge is indeed the best band to ever come out of TRINIDAD.
Comment by ERNILCoker on July 28, 2011 at 2:29pm
You are so right Ron Berridge is indeed the best band to ever come out of TRINIDAD.

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