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Andy Narell: Fire In The Engine Room

Jim Santella By

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Like his two recent albums with The Caribbean Project, Andy Narell’s latest brings gentle tropic breezes and smooth dance rhythms into your living room. Including a one-minute video of the Skiffle Bunch Steel Orchestra at last year’s Trinidad Panorama, this enhanced CD works either on a MAC or PC. An annual "battle of the bands" contest, the Panorama brings out steel drummers from all over.

Andy Narell is not a native of the Caribbean. Born in New York, he was introduced to the steel pan by his father at an early age. The CD includes two thorough biographical essays, 14 session photos featuring the album’s musicians, and, of course, the music. The session is arranged so that Narell remains at center stage, front, while brief solo sections are provided by piano, electric bass and guitar. The program contains bright spots, such as Louis Mhlanaga’s hot guitar solo on "Appreciation" and Dario Eskenazi’s delicious piano interlude on "Stutter Step." This final piece moves unpredictably, bringing in a significant sense of adventure. The remainder of the album, while providing enjoyable Caribbean dance music, features Narell’s steel pans in a lyrical rendering of smooth melodies and consonance.


Track Listing: Chakalaka; Unusual Bird; Coffee Street; Blue Mazooka; The Long Way Back; Tabanca; Appreciation; Stutter Step.Collective

Personnel: Andy Narell- steel pans, piano, keyboards; Dario Eskenazi, Mario Canonge- piano; Louis Mhlanaga- electric guitar; Oscar Stagnaro, Keith Jones, Michel Alibo- electric bass; Mark Walker, Paul van Wageningen, Jean Philippe Fanfant- drums; Jesus Diaz, Luis Conte- congas, timbales, percussion.

| Record Label: Heads Up International | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


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