Andy Narell: The Passage (2004)
Capturing the compositional and instrumental skill of steel pan artist Andy Narell, The Passage boasts a 30-member steel pan orchestra; guest soloists Michael Brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, and Hugh Masekela; and seven original Narell compositions. Audiophiles will also be interested in the advanced recording and mixing techniques employed on the album. Using a combination of live recording, overdubbing, and careful mixing, Narell has succeeded in capturing the notoriously difficult to present subtleties and force of steel pan music. The album will additionally be released in stereo and enhanced SACD formats, so those with the requisite equipment—whether dedicated steel pan fans or not—will reap the benefits.
Musically, The Passage is a smooth-toned affair presenting a balanced, often quite delicate compositional style. Steel pan enthusiasts will certainly find Narell’s playing exceptional and those interested in exploring something new will definitely encounter an unusual experience in the range and tonal complexity of steel pan orchestral music as presented here.
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Track Listing: 1. The Passage 2. Song for Mia 3. The Long Way Back 4. Sea of Stories 5. Mabouya 6. Dee Mwa Wee 7.Coffee Street
Personnel: Andy Narell: Tenor, double second, and quaduet steel pans; with Calypsociation Steel Orchestra; Michael Brecker: Tenor Sax; Paquito D'Rivera: Alto Sax; Hugh Masekela: Flugelhorn.
Record Label: Heads Up International