If your kids have a way of taking out all the pots and pans from your cupboards and wacking away at them, encourage them. They may someday get it all together and turn out to be a steel pan artist like Andy Narell. In a few years, you could be dancing to the exciting rhythms of the Caribbean on the same spot those same kids were "practicing". Since 1979, Narell has not only applied his imagination and instrumentation to the music of the Caribbean, but to jazz rhythms as well. On his latest you get a flavor for both, although the dominant theme is lilting French Caribbean. And not everything is mile a minute musical meringue. There's a lovely, sensuous "Grand Fabrice", an almost eight minute piece where Narell and his cohorts take us on a musical journey through the lush, exotic trails of the French Caribbean. Narell's cohorts are more than familiar with this music having been leading practitioners for years, especially pianist/vocalist Mario Canonge. Applying the old rubric which urges that the best should be saved for last, is a touching, lamenting "Song for Mia" where all the tension and energy, along with the melancholy and romanticism which has been building up through the seven previous tracks comes together in this 12 minute development of conceptions built upon the ever shifting rhythms of this music with its special sound and exciting call and response of native vocals. One can feel the heat of the Islands seeping out of the CD, so acute is the passion created by this music. This CD may not be suitable for everyday listening. But when one needs to be completely immersed in lush sound, this is the one to pull down from the shelf.
Track Listing: Kon Djab Djigidji; Roul
Personnel: Andy Narell - Steel Pans; Mario Canonge - Piano/Fender Rhodes/Vocals; Michel Alibo - Bass/Vocals; Jean Philippe Fanfant - Drums/Vocals; Polo Athanase- Vocals
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.