Various Artists


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Nothing evokes the Caribbean sun like the sound of a steel band, and this is wall-to-wall steel pans. The liner notes offer a brief history of rhythm in the Trinidad carnival -- where this was recorded in 1967 -- but unfortunately nothing on the pieces of music themselves. So it's hard to tell if they're more traditional or individual recent compositions. Many pieces have been written for steel bands, from calypsos to more complex works, and in the hands of some master instrumentalists they can sound like an orchestra. The recording on this is somewhat muddy compared to other steel pan recordings, but it does capture the joy of the music. Not absolutely essential -- but still a lot of fun.

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