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Four New Releases from New York City

The New York pan sound is convincingly demonstrated in four recently released CDs: Pantonic Live!, Pan in New York 2003!!!, Tonic For The Soul, and Evolution. The term first came to mind in 2001 when “USSA Panorama 2001” was released. Twelve different individuals including Clive Bradley, Jit Samaroo and Pelham Goddard arranged the twelve renditions of the finalists of the panorama competition. These three extraordinary musicians have dominated T&T’s panorama music with its frenetic pace common in all T&T panorama performances. Yet, Messrs. Bradley, Samaroo and Goddard have deferred to the “New York pan sound”.

What I call the “NY pan sound” is what Simeon Sandiford describes as “panorama music? played at coasting speed and this allows the listener to understand more clearly how these complex arrangements are structured”. One is more likely to be a satisfied listener rather than frustrated at the sound. (The frustration is more apparent when one has the sense that the orchestra is playing a familiar tune but its melody is overwhelmed by the frenetic beating of the pans.) Not with these New York orchestras!

But the “New York pan sound” is evident beyond panorama music. The suite of four recordings comprise R & B and popular contemporary music interpretations. In addition, the four recordings, like the seminal “Pan Sweet Pan” recorded and produced by Mr. Sandiford, “demonstrate the principles of sound-staging as applied to large steelband ensembles”.

Pantonic Live!, Pan in New York 2003!!!, Tonic For The Soul, and Evolution do not have flashy printed graphics - one does not even have a booklet. It is clear that the limited budget was focused on the right features: superb recording to present excellent performances. And of course, Clive Bradley is incomparable in Pantonic Live! which is a limited edition production.


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