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Jennifer Hudson Miguel

Jill Scott

April 18th-26th 2015 2 Jazz in the Islands


WHAT’S INSIDE

Features

Welcome All Well, we did it. After many years of gestation, welcome all the première edition of Jazz in the Islands, a periodical dedicated to compiling and reviewing Caribbean jazz music, musicians, and festivals throughout the islands. I am lucky to be part of an organisation that produces a jazz festival in Trinidad, so this launch coincides with the 2015 Jazz Artists on the Greens festival. Fortuitous, serendipitous, blessed. This is our music. Let’s all share in the native rhythms, the found sounds, the improvised joy of Caribbean Jazz. Nigel A. Campbell Editor nigel@jazz.tt

Departments 2 First Look

14 The State of Jazz Festivals in the Caribbean.

Where have all the tourists gone? An overview and look at the future of jazz tourism in the islands.

13 Ming’s Dynasty Michael Low Chew Tung and the 21st century redefinition of Caribbean Jazz

A little of this and that; Things to do.

18 Pan Jazz Picnic

Revel and review on the recorded output of pan jazz.

PHOTO: THA / Clive ZANDA / ANDREA DE SILVA/ ARTURO TAPPIN

20 Recording Roundup An annual review of and focus on Caribbean jazz recordings from the region and diaspora.

CD/Download Links 2 Raf Robertson 3 John Arnold, Luther François 4 Arturo Tappin, Elan Trotman Group 13 Élan Parlē, TriniJazz Project 17 Clive Zanda

Jett Samm Publishing 37 Newbury Hill Ext., Glencoe, Trinidad and Tobago www.jettsamm.com 868 366 6104

5 Jazz Artists on the Greens

Souvenir Programme. 21 March 2015, Trinidad. The premier Caribbean jazz show in Trinidad and Tobago comes around again.

JAZZ ARTISTS ON THE GREENS 2015

SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

16 Clive Zanda:

Portrait of the calypso jazz pioneer. What is “jazz” in the Caribbean context, and other Zandaisms.

4 Arturo’s Art

Q&A with Arturo Tappin: How Bajans can blow horn? From jamming in concert with Luther Vandross to island hopping to every jazz fest.

Advertising inquiries 868 366 6104, advertising@jazz.tt Editor and Manager Nigel A. Campbell Art Direction and Design NiCam Graphics Editorial and Advertising Assistant Amanda Carr Contributors Caroline Ravello, Tony Bell, Harold Homer II. Jazz in the Islands is published periodically by Jett Samm Publishing. All material is © 2015, Jett Samm Publishing, except where noted, and may not be reprinted without permission. NOT FOR RESALE. Available online at jazz.tt

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FIRST LOOK

A little of this and that, things to do. A riff on Raf La Brea began the studied discipline of formal piano lessons at the age of eight, did the combo dance band scene as a teenager, sideman duties as a keyboardist in dance bands during his sojourn in Europe in the 1980s lead to bandleader credits later there. The syncopated rhythms and lively spirit embodied in both jazz and the Caribbean situation began to shape the vision of this musician. His return to the source of inspiration would lead to gigging and touring with music mogul Eddy Grant, and launching his own exploration of the body of music here in the islands ripe for harmonic reinterpretation. Caribbean jazz was, for him, just a natural extension of the music and the many influences that he encountered up to this time. Four albums later—Just Teasin’, Branches, Universal Rhythm and Majesty—Raf continues to push interpretive boundaries with a new approach to the marrying of the steel pan and so-called conventional instruments. The ideas never stop and neither does his music. Look out in 2015 for the new calypso jazz.

A First Look at Jazz in the Islands Jazz in the Islands serves as a fillip to the dearth of collated information on Caribbean Jazz CD releases, artists and reviews of festivals and showcases in the Caribbean featuring this fusion exercise we call “jazz.” Throughout the magazine, the reader will see a sampling of album releases from up to a 2 Jazz in the Islands

decade ago with embedded QR codes for scanning with a smart phone app that links one directly to the purchase point of the album. In addition to this print edition, the magazine will appear periodically online as a digital edition. This music never gets old so the joy in reminiscing is real and productive.

RAF ROBERTSON Majesty (Thunderdome Sounds, 2011) “The concept and inspiration for Majesty came from those calypsoes of yore that can only be described as ‘majestic’, because they succinctly define the society they were born in.” —Raf Robertson

Available at CDBaby.com

RAF ROBERTSON Branches (Raf Robertson, 1994) “‘This album is the result of [a] lifetime love affair with the music of the great Lord Kitchener. It took a year to complete from research to production...Thank you Kitch. Thank you Raf!” —Jazz in the Islands

Available at CDBaby.com

PHOTO: MARIA NUNES

Rafael “Raf ” Robertson is a major figure in the development of calypso jazz, and an influence to a generation of musicians who came after him, all seeking to make the native dissonant and joyful at the same time. One can discern from his biography that he is serious in his intent. He is an accomplished jazz pianist, composer and recording artist specializing in calypso jazz and improvisation who has performed professionally for well over three decades. He continues the fusion of the vocabulary evident in jazz with the stock melodies and rhythms of Trinidad calypso. His Caribbean reference and perspective have distinctively shaped his playing: he calls himself a minimalist. His music—a direct reflection of his spirit—is about creation and expression, happiness and sensation. The lad from


FIRST LOOK Things to do! SUN MAR 29

THU APR 30 - MAY 10

y e rsit Thniveol U ho Sc

ZZ Pr oject A J Y 29

JOHN ARNOLD Kaiso in the Jazz Stew (John Arnold, 2014)

TH

A 5 SUNDRCH, 201 MA 00 PM Greens,e 5:

“Arnold says, ‘this album is a statement on music, the music of Trinidad and Tobago.’ We can add that it is an eloquent and succinct statement that appeals to a wide audience. —Jazz in the Islands

Bring your food, drink ,coolers and picnic blanket *Bar and food items also available for purchase

l choo ustin ity S . Aug nivers et, St The Uker Stre Ba

250 TT$

All

y School ersit Univ The o t o ds g cee pro

Performances by: Mungal Patasar & Pantar Chantal Esdelle & Moyenne feat. Tony Woodroffe Brenda Butler, Candice Alcantara, Yuyaric-Kayna

PHOTO: UNIVERSITY SCHOOL / THA / ST LUCIA TOURISM

For Tickets: Call 779-9781, 682-7768, 685-3196 | Visit The University School or Charran’s Bookstore (Tunapuna and Trincity)

The University School Jazz Project with a slew of local jazz festival mainstays. Sunday March 29. 5:00 pm. Baker Street, St Augustine, Trinidad. TT$250.00

Robin Thicke, Jimmy Cliff, FloRida, headline and many more. 11 days from Thursday April 30 Islandwide, St Lucia. US$20.00-$80.00 www.stluciajazz.org

SAT APR 18 - 26

THU JUN 25 - 27

Available at CDBaby.com

LUTHER FRANÇOIS Castries Underground (HMS, 2008) “Castries Underground is rich jazz improvisation, refracted through the prism of uniquely West Indian rhythms.” —Kreol Magazine

More than a decade of fun in the sun; much more than music! 9 days from Thursday April 18. Islandwide, Tobago. Free and TT$300.00-$1200.00 www.tobagojazzexperience.com

A mix of genres local and international with stars in all performing. From Thursday June 25 for 3 days. Ticket information forthcoming. www.stkittsmusicfestival.net

Available at iTunes.com

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Arturo’s Art

Q&A with the Bajan saxy man

4 Jazz in the Islands

ARTURO TAPPIN Inside Out (Blow Music, 2007) “The album features ten original compositions, all of which exquisitely display a superb blend of mesmerizing melodies and deliciously deep penetrating grooves” —CD Baby

Available at CDBaby.com

ELAN TROTMAN GROUP #LiveAndUncut (Island Muzik, 2014) “Barbadian saxophonist Elan Trotman serves up a tropical feel defining the elements of smooth jazz that have a legion of fans reaching for a rum punch and the resort menu.” —Caribbean Beat

Available at CDBaby.com

PHOTO: ARTURO TAPPIN

Bajan saxophonist and, let’s face it, instrumental superstar has a busy 2015. Already having done Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival in January, Arturo will do Jazz Artists on the Greens in Trinidad in March, and then perform on the main stage at St Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival in May. It may be easy to be swayed by the panache of this ace horn man, but his craft is serious and the swagger has been earned from years on the road as a leader and supporting music superstars Roberta Flack, and famously Luther Vandross at Radio City Music Hall, a performance that is captured at the singer’s last concert record. in 2003 before hospitalization from a stroke. Jazz in the Islands spoke to You are a mentor to a number of Arturo about his craft, his influence upcoming musicians in Barbados. and his career. Who are some that Caribbean Jazz You attended Berklee. How has that fans should look out for? It’s all about building a pool of education helped your career? musicians on all instruments. Some Having tutors with real world of the players I mentored are Elan experience like my arranging tutor Fred Lipsius, private lesson tutors Joe Trotman, Chris Harper, Romalo Greaves, Mylon Clarke, Joseph Viola , Andy McGhee , Bill Pierce, Callendar. When you come to my and being around great student shows you see them from time to sax players like Sam Newsome and time as I will make an effort to bring French pianist Jacky Terrasson them along with me anytime I can helped to inform and inspire me. Because of that, I have given back by get extra tickets to augment my band from quartet to sextet or even bigger. teaching for the last 10 to 20 years, without charge. I always tell students to learn to all the masters. My uncle What is the key to your success? Word of mouth based on live Elombe Mottley suggested that I performances and always making listen to everything Charlie Parker sure every show was better than the played. He and my father had an last by researching what is required extensive jazz record collection. I was a clarinettist at 12, so Acker Bilk for the job and preparing my menu and staff to best deliver a memorable was an influence, then at 15 I began the sax and I wore out the grooves on experience for all the patrons and the Grover Washington’s Winelight vinyl workers at the concert venue.


JAZZ ARTISTS ON THE GREENS 2015

SOUVENIR PROGRAMME Read more online at jazz.tt Jazz in the Islands. March 2015 5


6 Jazz in the Islands


6:00 pm

ALL MATERIAL © 2015, PRODUCTION ONE LTD., EXCEPT ADVERTISEMENTS AND BRAND IDENTITY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

7:00 pm

8:00 pm

9:00 pm

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Welcome to Jazz Artists On the Greens 2015!

8 Jazz in the Islands JAOTG.COM

Come for the lime … Discover the Music! Celebrating our 13th anniversary, a milestone in the entertainment industry, Production One Ltd proudly hosts on Saturday 21st March, 2015 our signature event, Jazz Artists on the Greens! We encourage patrons to come early, stay long, to walk with their picnic blankets and lounging chairs, sit where they’re most comfortable, and bask in the ambience of a good Trini lime, accompanied by a powerful mix of contemporary Caribbean jazz styles, delivered by some of the most talented performers to grace our stages, at our festival-styled event. The audience is in for a delightful treat as this year’s line-up includes some of the Caribbean’s finest artistes: Bajan saxophone superstar Arturo Tappin, Trinidadian smooth jazz guitarist Clifford Charles, Songstress Kay Alleyne from Tobago, and returning to perform by popular demand, American steelpan jazz fusion artiste, Jonathan Scales and his Fourchestra. Once again, patrons will be delighted to discover a true festival atmosphere. The range of


PHOTO: PRODUCTION ONE LTD

festival-related concessions and memorabilia will include local jewellery, painters / artists, leather craft and musical instruments, food caterers and a wellstocked bar. Production One Ltd, will operate a merchandise tent featuring music CDs and branded apparel — a genuine Caribbean jazz marketplace. Well lit, secured parking is available and located within 1 to 2 minutes walking distance from the venue, along with event WiFi, portable Linx Machine and an accessible ATM machine for necessary withdrawals! As always, we would like to

thank our patrons, both firsttimers and returning ones for your continued support. Thank you to the artists for your music, talent and time. Thanks to the volunteers and support staff behind the scenes. Special shout out to Anthony Harford for being the voice of JAOTG all these years. Thank you to all the ticket outlets for your kindness and effectiveness, and to the staff at WASA for their support. We look forward to seeing everyone again on 12 March, 2016 for the 14th edition of Jazz Artists on the Greens.

Production One Ltd. is a company committed to the top quality production of high profile concerts and to expanding the audience for jazz, and other live music in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean. This will be achieved not by compromising the music but through a dynamic and highly visible marketing strategy and by developing the public’s trust through a commitment to quality. In addition to fulfilling the role of a traditional concert promoter, we also specialize in providing opportunities for sponsorship by adding value to events through sophisticated marketing, advertising, design, public relations and production of collateral media. Directors: Anton Doyle, Rolf Doyle, Martin Wellington, Maria Wellington, Keith Niles, Nigel A. Campbell Production One Ltd. PO Box 1919, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago info@productiononeltd.com productiononeltd.com

Read more online at jazz.tt Jazz in the Islands. March 2015 9 2015 SOUVENIR PROGRAMME


PRODUCTION ONE LTD. WOULD LIKE TO THANK ITS

CORPORATE AND INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERS

10 Jazz in the Islands JAOTG.COM


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12 Jazz in the Islands


Ming’s Dynasty A conversation with the architect of jazz in the 21st century in Trinidad and Tobago

PHOTO: PRODUCTION ONE LTD

ÉLAN PARLĒ I Am élan parlē (Parlemuzik, 2013)

At the dawn of the 21st century in Trinidad, Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung and his band/brand élan parlē launched its debut CD collection of tunes, Tribal Voices, which signalled a changing of the guard with regards to that fusion exercise begun in this region called Calypso Jazz. He continues to re-affirm the brand completing an arc that spans and includes the development of a new generation of music pioneers constantly searching for the new definition of jazz in the Caribbean. Ming and his colleagues belong to the “New School” of local jazz musicians, who followed both the Schofield Pilgrim generation (Clive Zanda et al) and protégés of the Pilgrim generation (Raf Robertson et al). This third stream, if you will, recorded prolifically in the early 2000s putting into the marketplace many CDs featuring the modern instrumentation that flourished during related tech boom a decade prior. Ming alone was responsible for more than half the output positioning him to be the architect of the new calypso jazz. Listen to him: Who has/have been the major

influence/(s) on your music composition and album production style? My influences are many and varied however compositionally; I can definitely point to Andy Narell and Michael Boothman. Production wise, Russ Freeman of the Rippingtons has had the most lasting influence. The Élan Parlē concept is actually patterned in part on the Rippingtons model. Did you have set goals at the beginning of your career, and have you met or surpassed them as yet? I didn’t have any particular goals in mind. I was just happy to play music, and even happier when I got paid. In a career that now spans 30 years, I have tried to learn as much as I can, share as much as I can, and ultimately stay true to myself and the music that I produce. Music is a journey and I’m happy to be living it. What 3 albums can’t you live without hearing over and over? Andy Narell - The Hammer; Grover Washington Jr. - All My Tomorrows; and Herbie Hancock - The New Standard.

“I Am Élan Parlē is recognition of the crossroad arrived at after more than a decade creating and recording music in the Caribbean.” —Jazz in the Islands

Available at CDBaby.com

VARIOUS ARTISTS TriniJazz Project (Parlemuzik, 2014) “The reframed calypsoes of Bigford, the rhythmic pulse of Onilu, and the improvised joy by the others say ‘trinijazz’ is the definition of accomplished.” —Caribbean Beat

Available at CDBaby.com

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In his Nobel Lecture in 1992, poet Derek Walcott aptly defined the dilemma of Caribbean states as they try to expand their appeal to a global audience: “A culture based on joy is bound to be shallow. Sadly, to sell itself, the Caribbean encourages the delights of mindlessness, of brilliant vacuity, as a place to flee not only winter but that seriousness that comes only out of culture with four seasons.” In the tourism-based economies of the Caribbean, the idea of event tourism and the reality of the numerous “jazz” festivals signify opportunities unfulfilled. On these “empty” isles where the glitter of 14 Jazz in the Islands

foreign currency is a necessity for survival, this “brilliant vacuity” masks some harsh realities that a simple “jazz festival” name change won’t fix. BC Pires writing in Caribbean Beat magazine in 1993 noted that, “there are Caribbean-jazz festivals... These involve Caribbean musicians and Caribbean music. And then there are jazz festivals in the Caribbean, which are considerably more numerous. They can be found all over the region, from Bermuda to Aruba; they do not necessarily feature any Caribbean jazz musician, and they are attended by people who

fly in for the purpose.” When George Wein organized the first outdoor jazz festival in the US in Newport, Rhode Island in 1954, it was always about tourism. That festival shares kinship with the Jazz on the Beach hosted by Mt Irvine Beach Club in Tobago as both were underwritten by wealthy benefactors, certainly in the first 5 years. A number of regional jazz festivals make no excuses that there is the link between commerce and tourism that drives them. State subsidy removes the impetus for profit at the gates to the broader goal of tourist arrivals and economic turnover. The settings

PHOTO: ST LUCIA TOURISM

The state of jazz festivals in the Caribbean


are the stars of these shows. It is anathema to say that one can separate art from commerce at live events, whether soca, jazz or classical music. The challenge of the festival in the mix of events and event tourism is the pull of the foreign tourist as spectator to popular music in paradise versus any obligation to sustain the local creative industries as an economic enabler. In the numbers game, local talent equals filler. A sobering reality is that a number of festivals have closed shop as the economics of the ventures haven’t matched expectations or haven’t brought the requisite numbers of “hotel room fillers.” Turks and Caicos, Anguilla, Bermuda, Bahamas, even Barbados had their “official” jazz festivals deleted from the options to bring visitors to the isles. Somewhere lost in this, is the plight of the Caribbean musician creating in this milieu, jazz that defines us as a people and as a region. Jazz, whether on the beach, on a tropical lawn, on a hill or other exotic location is always about that musical conversation between artistes, and the art of surprise. The Caribbean has a culture based on joy, and the delight of the celebration replaced any notion that one had to understand the language of jazz. The façade was established. Belinda Edmondson in her book Caribbean Middlebrow writes, “The Caribbean jazz festival retains the idea of insider knowledge, but only by association: to be present in the audience suggests that one has an understanding of the language of jazz, even if one does not.” That is harsh observation. Local

audiences are getting it. The realities of Caribbean presence, however, plays on a duality of enjoying life and living (and working hard) to enjoy life. At one point in the past, as noted again by Pires, “there are more than 30 jazz festivals every year in the Caribbean and most Caribbean people have never been to one.” Possibly most people could not afford to go to one. The price points on a number of festival that brought in R&B and pop stars was in the range of US$50.00 trending towards to $200.00 in recent times. A newer trend by organisers has moved the talent spectrum away from foreign to local talent, many outside the jazz genre, with a sometime requisite name change from “jazz festival” to “music festival.” Connoisseurs would be delighted. What’s left is a group of events that define the Caribbean as

a place for music from all the genres that bubbled up in the New World to be seen and heard. The context of listening in the Caribbean as opposed to a summer lounge chair in Newport is the key to recognising that the jazz festival phenomenon has arrived at a plateau. The possibilities for a homegrown jazz music presence on the wider map of the islands are to be hoped for in coming years. Some smaller festivals that have an organic growth path have made small strides in keeping Caribbean jazz alive, and slowly building a dedicated audience. From the Bahamas and Bermuda in the north all the way down to Trinidad and west to Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, the space to play the improvised music of the Caribbean is opening up as the idea of this region being a place to flee the seriousness of metropolitan existence is slowly becoming redundant.

Read more online at jazz.tt Jazz in the Islands. March 2015 15


Clive Zanda

Clive “Zanda” Alexander, pioneer of Extempo/Kaiso Jazz music directions in the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is largely a self-taught composer/ improvisor, piano player who has gained recognition both at home in the Caribbean and internationally. This mainly for his contibution to the development of the art of Extempo/ Kaiso Jazz direction and its influence on Third World music beat. Zanda as he is affectionately called was born into a musical and artistic family in the village of Siparia in South Trinida& His deceased father, Richard Alexander also known as Lapo, a shoemaker/guitarist/ 16 Jazz in the Islands

vocalist and church music master was born in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. His mother Louisa Alexander a homemaker/florist and gospel singer is from the Caribbean island of Grenada. It is therefore no accident that Zanda who is a qualified professional architect, is also a composer, improvisor and piano player. Zanda started making music on self- made cardboard miniature bongos at age ten beating out calypso rhythms scatting and composing lines on top of the rhythms. At age fifteen he started classical piano lessons with Ms. Sybil Joseph in Sipari& After a couple of lessons, up

to ade one he started extemporising on the piano incorporating some of what was learnt with his own tunes. Ms. Joseph gave up on him and left him alone to do so. From there onwards he started to hang out with several local combos and dance bands in jam sessions’. Not long after Zanda got an opportunity to sit- in with some top local combos mainly playing bongos and singing some of his tunes. However it was not until 1960 at the age of twenty he migrated to England primarily to pursue studies in architecture because the future in music was considered not lucrative. But music was always in his head and because

PHOTO: CLIVE ZANDA

Portrait of a calypso jazz pioneer


of the nature of architecture, being considered “frozen music’, he was able to study and combine both disciplines successfully. Zanda’s first encounter with live and direct Jazz music was when he visited London’s flamingo Jazz club in the 60s, where he saw and heard British musicians like George Fame and Dudley Moore Trio. He was amazed at how three musicians could produce so much music. This motivated him to really get involved in Jazz as an improvising music discipline and later he started intense private lessons with well known British Composer Michael Grant. Soon after this he formed his own combo experimenting with fusing calypso elements with Jazz which in Zanda’s perception were musical siblings. During the daytime he remained focus on his first purpose for being in England which was to attend college and pursue architecture. At nights, though the Dez Alex Combo, as his group was called performed regularly at the London Pigalle night club doing curtain calls for such acts as Shirley Bassey, Matt Monroe an Sammy Davis, Jnr. On completion of his studies he returned home and established the “Zanda” Gayap Extempo/Kaiso Jazz Workshop in association with the Queen’s Royal College (QRC) Jazz workshop under the direction of school teacher, musician Scofield Pilgrim, researching and experimenting with the concept of Extempo/Kaiso Jazz which he continued to pioneer up to this day. “Zanda” in 1975 visited the United States of America and attended

lecture demonstration in jazz improvisations at Rutgers University under the direction of Professor Chris White (a bassist of Trinidadian descent). He was awarded a Certificate in Jazz improvisation from Rutgers. While in the USA he formed he formed a combo which included well known New York based musicians such as Dunmore Louis Haynes known for his drumming with the Oscar Peterson Trio; soprano saxophonist, Charlie Davis; trumpeter Tex Allen and Trinidadian born bassist David “Happy’ Williams. His group performed a series of concerts at the East Harlem Cultural Center playing Zanda’s original calypso jazz compositions and sharing the bill with another if his well loved Archie Shepp Quintet. “Zanda” has also appeared at all major Caribbean Jazz Festivals, the last being St. Lucia In 1994, De Mora Theatre in Toronto pan Jazz Festival and the Trinidad and Tobago Jazz festivals to name a few. Having established himself as composer, improviser, pianist, his fans expects nothing short of his innovative interpretations of calypso and jazz standards. He is a national treasure and musical ambassador for the Caribbean who believes that music is the intercessor for peace in the world. He is also committed passing on knowledge to the youth, who are the future and is in the process of producing videos and documenting literature as part of the holistic commitment to the development of the art of Extempo/Kaiso Jazz.

CLIVE ZANDA Clive Zanda is Here (reissue) (Hosea Music, 2009) “This pioneering record put on the map the idea that ‘the replacement of swing rhythms (which were not native to the Caribbean) with calypso rhythms’ made sense” —Jazz in the Islands

Available at On Call

CLIVE ZANDA et al Pan-Jazz Conversations/Gayap (reissue) (Faluma, 2013) “Assorted yet familiar is the short description of this double CD set... What you see, and then hear, is a gourmet array of delectables served for over two hours.” —eCaroh

Available at iTunes.com

Read more online at jazz.tt Jazz in the Islands. March 2015 17


PAN JAZZ PICNIC

I was recently re-animated about the possibilities of programming 24 hours of steelpan jazz and its variants for online radio, when I had to do a little research into the output of this sub-genre of our Caribbean jazz fusion experiment. Some hard realities; there was a proliferation of CD releases during the 1990s, both in Trinidad and Tobago and abroad, mainly North America. A smattering of offerings out of the UK and Europe did not hold much sway as we entered the 21st century. As a programming niche, there is a thin line between repetition and redundancy. There is a sort of renaissance in music recording now from the US, by non-Trinidadians as well 18 Jazz in the Islands

as citizens in the diaspora. Phil Hawkins, Chris Tanner and Gary Gibson are all producing what Andy Narell, among others, has termed “progressive steelpan jazz”: jazz-based, harmonically intricate music. Narell’s influence as a leader has spawned a couple ensembles in France, Djazil and Caraïb II Jazz, offering a choice for listeners. US-based pannists Liam Teague and Leon Foster Thomas are creating variety, while Washington DCbased Virgin Islander Victor Provost recently premiered with bebop on pan. Jonathan Scales released his fifth CD of musically complex and outside-the-box compositions. One critic noted, “the music on Jonathan

Scales’ [CDs] defies the conventional parameters of jazz or even ‘panjazz’ and pushes composition to unprecedented levels of complexity and sophistication.” Local steelpan recordings seem to revolve around ensemble performance by a whole band, with few offerings by our greats: Boogsie, Professor, Ray. Robbie Greenidge has about over a half-dozen CDs. The pioneering work of Earl Rodney and Rudy Smith of recording original material for the steelpan as a lead instrument has over time lead to, for better or worse, a small trove of intelligent options for new listeners and fans alike. —Nigel A. Campbell


GARVIN BLAKE Parallel Overtones (Khalabashmusic, 2015)

HUGH HUGGINS JR. Forever Love (Panvibes, 2003)

EARL RODNEY Friends & Countrymen (reissue) (Em Records, 2008)

“Garvin Blake delivers on his Parallel Overtones CD. It is that outstanding an addition to the argot of music product featuring the steelpan.” —WhenSteelTalks

“Funky steel pan jazz from a player grounded in his Trinidadian identity, this debut recording continues the work of Professor among othersto find a new direction for pan.” —Jazz in the Islands

“Recorded in New York in 1973, released that same year on Attilana, and reissued 35 years later by EM Records, Friends & Countrymen has stood the test of time. ” —AllMusic

Available at CDBaby.com

ANDY NARELL Oui Ma Chérie! (Listen2, 2014) “After 18 previous albums, it is clear that the sound born of ‘the audacity of the creole imagination’ in Trinidad is now global, and this album is apt proof of Narell’s significance.” —Caribbean Beat

Available at andynarell.net

Available at CDBaby.com

JONATHAN SCALES FOURCHESTRA Mixtape Symphony (Ropeadope, 2014)

Available at Amazon.com

VICTOR PROVOST Her Favorite Shade of Yellow (Victor Provost, 2011)

“Continuing his out-of-the-box composition for steelpan Scales along with his sidekicks in his Fourchestra push the envelope further to redefine ‘pan music.’” —Jazz in the Islands

“Her Favorite Shade of Yellow wanders through the field of jazz standards, placing the steelpan in the centre of a conversation heretofore reserved for other instruments of the jazz big band.” —Jazz in the Islands

Available at jonscales.com

Available at CDBaby.com

Read more online at jazz.tt Jazz in the Islands. March 2015 19


RECORDING ROUNDUP

ANDRE WOODVINE Fix it on Monday (Vine, 2009)

CLIFFORD CHARLES Homeward Bound (Yazara Music, 2014)

CHANTAL ESDELLE Imbizo Moyenne (Ethnic Jazz Club, 2013)

JACQUES SCHWARZ-BART Jazz Racine Haïti (Motéma Music, 2014)

“Mature, sunny, soulful Caribbean melodies seeking Inspiring jazzy instrumental improv for long-term relationship. Serious inquiries only.” —CD Baby

“Guitarist Clifford Charles fifth CD, Homeward Bound, continues a trend of redefinition of the music of these isles.” —Caribbean Beat

“...this simply packaged CD fills a yawning gap in the canon of locallyreleased jazz music.” —T&T Guardian

“African-Caribbean grooves that drive this music beyond spirituality achieve a synergy where modern jazz and vodou are one.” —Caribbean Beat

Available at CDBaby.com

Available at TrinidadTunes.com

Available at CDBaby.com

Available at iTunes.com

KALABASH Keep Them Close (Kalabash, 2013)

IAN VILLAFANA Epiphany (Ian Villafana, 2010)

THERON SHAW Gumbo Caribe (Theron Shaw 2014)

ETIENNE CHARLES Creole Soul (Culture Shock Music, 2013)

“Caribbean jazz featuring steelpan grooves fused with Cuban elements in the rhythm makes this an interesting followup to their debut.” —Jazz in the Islands

“The studio album debut by this nylon-string smooth jazz guitarist fills areas in the lanscape not already taken by the plethora of copycat stylists.” —Jazz in the Islands

“... we are fortunate to have seen the launch of a handful of jazz CDs here, and Gumbo Caribe positively impacts that statistic.” —T&T Guardian

“Creole Soul is personal, cerebral, spiritual and joyful in its creative exploration of the roots of music and of a man.” —JazzTimes

Available at iTunes.com

20 Jazz in the Islands

Available at CDBaby.com

Available at CDBaby.com

Available at etiennecharles.com


Read more online at jazz.tt Jazz in the Islands. March 2015 3


4 Jazz in the Islands

Jazz in the Islands. Issue #1 (Digital)  

Jazz in the Islands serves as a fillip to the dearth of collated information on Caribbean Jazz CD releases, artists and reviews of festivals...

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