When Steel Talks
Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
The pan revolutionary Leroy'Ali'Williams shares his magical drums and views on the Pan movement with the Spiceman
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Hey 'Pan peeps'
I feel now is the only time we have left to share our close encounters with Leroy and how he added value to our lives. I will lead the batting as we say in cricket. I first heard his tuning on the radio, he was partnered with whom I believe to be our premier jazz hero among other achievements 'Kiskadee the Mighty' as he joked. The incomparable Othello Molineaux.
After experiencing both the finesse of Othello's playing and the tones of his instrument, let's just say I was greatly inspired.. Ok..Ok..Obsessed to find this dynamic duo in the flesh. My family (The Bordes) were very stunned by my reaction because I was not easily impressed by pan players and the direction we were headed in, and was totally about creating other avenues for exploration.( Following in daddy's footsteps) Enters Jaco Pastorius the worlds most gifted bass player, with Othello on steel drums and a cast of musical legends. I firmly believe that night in concert, as a gift to my bass playing brother Carlton and my curious father Hugh is when my dad who had quit playing his drum, just like the old gunslinger in the cowboy movies, came out of retirement, and started his new assault on the tenor pan. Carlton started studying Jaco's bass technique and I was in heaven.
Years later I met Leroy and was blessed with his drum, which I traditionally brass plated out of respect for the instrument as well as my first bandleader's words ( The Maestro Junior Pouchet of Silver Stars) "The steel drum is a gold mine." Dr. Williams as I prefer to have called him, was a very thoughtful gentleman and greatly reminded me of my deceased grandfather who looked like Nelson Mandela on steroids. His voice commanded attention just like the notes on his instruments. A few visits to Santa Cruz where I both flew and drove the 7 hrs for retuning, was always the most pleasant experiences, If only I played as hard as 'Boogsie' I would have seen more of the Doctor and heard more of his thoughts on pan which was his life's aim as he always said. " I am going to change the game" His drums were so elegant that I hung them on my living room's wall and wouldn't play them for cheap, they were as I called them my recording drums, which you could see as soon as you entered my home but would only hear on occasion. I am always transported by playing these magical tones. Two months ago on our last phone visit he was the sound of joy knowing I had just developed a game changing pan stand/case inspired by his drums, which affords me the luxury of sitting and playing as well as investing more time for studying the classics, He never once let on about his illness, he kept hope and focus on changing the game for the 'New World'. I am a lucky and grateful owner of one of the L.A.W. Pan and can just imagine the others who will go on to higher achievements because of the 'Doctor' 'Pan Revolutionary' Leroy 'Ali' Williams.
I enjoyed this very much
Thank you Spiceman for sharing this video. Very educational.
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