Steel Band

Carnival Jump-Up

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Carnival Jump-Up is an exceptional compilation of steelband music, with recordings mostly from rehearsals for the Panorama competition. The beauty of the recordings comes in multiple forms. All five of the big five steelband arrangers (Leon "Boogsie" Sharpe, Ray Holman, Jit Samaroo, Leon "Smooth" Edwards, Clive Bradley) have a piece on the album. There are stunning works from other, non-calypso songs present, which almost make the album worth buying without the other songs: the "Tribute to Glenn Miller" put in by the Solo Harmonites is an exceptional conversion of Glenn Miller works into a medley for 25 steelband musicians, and "Ghost Riders in the Sky" is an astonishing piece made from Johnny Cash's hit. Jit Samaroo's composition for the Amoco Renegades is almost perfect from a technical sense, and Clive Bradley's composition for the Solo Harmonites is mildly tinged with jazz (though this work actually didn't make it past the preliminaries of the Panorama due to a mistake during the performance). Ray Holman, the first man to break from the usage of traditional calypsos for the Panorama, and his protégé Len Sharpe both turn in wonderful works for their respective contingents of 100 musician bands. To end the album, Leon Edwards provides "Curry Tabanca" for the Trinidad All Stars (Neal and Massy are their corporate sponsors), which is imbued with a touch of East Indian flavor. There aren't all that many compilations of Panorama quality works from the top bands and top composers around, but this one is possibly all that is needed, as it covers everything. The only problem is that is leaves the listener wishing for more.

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