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The Clarence Curvan Orchestra playlist featuring "Mattinata" and other hits.

Clarence Curvan once told me that his music was influenced by the legendary Trinidad dance band, The Sel Duncan Orchestra.

I had never noticed it before, but in this sweet arrangement of Leoncavallo's "Mattinata" you can clearly hear that smooth Sel Duncan influenced sound, especially in the horn section featuring Roy Cape on Alto sax.

The arrangement was by Beverly Griffith (piano), who at the time was the bands main arranger.

Some arranging was also done by future bandleader Ron Berridge, including the band's original "Tribute to Carlos", which was a .tribute to Jamaican Carlos Malcolm, whose band they thought was the best in the Caribbean at that time.

I should also mention that after the band's membership changed in the late sixties, the band's music moved to include a more soulful sound, and the arranger and keyboardist at the time was none other than legendary steelband arranger Clive Bradley.

The playlist also features some of my other favorite Clarence Curvan hits, including a soulful version of Wilson Pickett's "Land of 1000 Dances" . (Which I believe was a Bradley arrangement).

So take a break, step back in time, and enjoy the sweet sounds.

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Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on June 7, 2013 at 11:45am

Spoke to Clarence Curvan recently, and he confirmed that in the late sixties -early seventies his band was the primary backup band for soul singers visiting T&T, including such stars as Percy Sledge, Arthur Conley, among others.

At that time, legendary steelband arranger Clive Bradley was his arranger and keyboard player, and yes, Bradley did arrange Wilson Picket's "Land of 1000 Dances" featured in this collection.

Comment by yvette johnson on June 6, 2013 at 2:23am

Melodious and sweet!   Thank you Mr. Clarence Curvan.   Thank you Glenroy and WST for the memories!

Comment by Albert John Simon on May 13, 2013 at 10:43am

HI Glenroy, muchos salutations to you for showcasing Clarence Curvan, I am saving this in my music library for posterity. As a teenager, I remember dancing to his music back in the "good ole days" in Trinidad when other brass bands like  Joey Lewis, The Dutchy Bros, Johnny Gomez, Choy Aming, The Bonaparte Bros, Sel Duncan, Ray Sylvester and Mano Marcelin were the top bands in T & T. Do you remember when the promoters used to sprinkle cornmeal on the dance floor so the dancing patrons could dance smoothly across the dance floor. I think Ed Watson and the Brass Circle came years afterwards (Correct me here if I am wrong)

Incidentally I played with Mano Marcelin in the late sixties until I got married in 1974. I played the cow bell and timbales back in those days when and we were the first winners of The Brassorama competition. The great Frankie Francis played alto sax while Winston Scarborough ( The Original D'Fosto) played the trombone. Do you have any of Mano Marcelin's music on wax?

Keep up the exceptionally wonderful musical contributions on Pan Times. 

Comment by Michaele on May 13, 2013 at 9:35am

THANKS Glenroy...very nice.

Comment by Val Serrant on May 13, 2013 at 7:15am

THANKS SO MUCH FOR TAKING ME TO MY BLESSED BOYHOOD DAYS,GLENROY! SWEET T&T, ASE-O!

Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on May 12, 2013 at 10:53pm

Clarence Curvan fans should check it out again.

I made some changes to the playlist, and its much better.

Comment by Courtney Leiba on May 12, 2013 at 10:33pm

I was asked by Clarence Curvan Orchestra but refused because of a bass guitars was playing the band and joined Joey Lewis band instead. It was the days of good dance music from several bands especially Sel Duncan orch, blue Gardenia Ball room dances.

Comment by raymond on May 12, 2013 at 9:01pm
Oh what sweet memories, these tunes, Glenroy take me back to a wonderful time in Trinidad, thank you for uploading them.
Raymond Charles
Cranston RI USA

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