|From Tabanca to
By Peter Ray Blood
Trinidad Guardian www.guardian.co.tt,
December 3, 2001
IMPRESSIVE, professional, job well done are but a few of the
superlatives easy to come to mind in describing last Saturday's
launch of a new CD by Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars. The
popular Hell Yard pan institution spruced up its Duke Street
complex to launch From Tabanca to Rain, as well as to premiere the
world-renowned German-manufactured Meyer Sound System.
Produced by Neal & Massy Holdings, Caribbean Home Insurance
and Sanch Electronix, the event was attended by a cross-section of
personalities from the diplomatic corps, including Mexican
Ambassador Senora Isabelle Teles de Ortega, Port of Spain Mayor
Murchisson Brown, Bernard Dulal-Whiteway, Devrol Dupigny, Simeon
Sandiford, Ray Holman, Dereck Faria and the local agents of the
revolutionary sound system.
Teles de Ortega unveiled a commissioned painting of the CD.
It's difficult to decide which was more impressive, the
splendid music performed by All Stars or the lavish culinary
spread laid by the organising committee. But guests enjoyed both,
especially when the CD was eventually played on the new sound
Recorded on the Sanch label, From Tabanca to Rain is a must-buy
item for any trueblood collector and connoisseur of exquisite pan
Give Tabanca for Christmas
Thursday December 20, 2001
The Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars Steel
Orchestra has released a nine-track CD collection entitled From
Tabanca to Rain, that will make a nice present for this the
Christmas season. The collection, recorded, produced and
distributed on the SANCH label features tunes played by the band
for the Panorama competition over the years. This includes the
1987 piece, "Curry Tabanca," which was recorded as the
band prepared for the Panorama final of that year.
In fact, All Stars was one of the first bands to
be recorded live on the SANCH label,
which since the mid 1980's has been recording Trinidad's pan,
folk, jazz and classical music and distributing it world-wide.
This collection is one of almost 50 in the SANCH
catalogue. These include the Special
Brew compilation, Exodus Power and
Glory I and II, La
Petite Musicale and Classics
Featured on Tabanca to Rain is this year's All
Stars Panorama offering, "Rain Melody" as well as
"The Heavy Roller," "Power Of Music," "Doh
Back Back," "The Caribbean Home Theme Song" and a
medley of "All The Things You Are," "La Mer"
and "For Sentimental Reasons."
All Stars took the Panorama crown this past carnival with their
dazzling interpretation of Defosto’s Firestorm, a piece many
probably wish could have been included among this fine sampling of
performances by one of Trinidad and Tobago’s top steel orchestras.
From Tabanca to Rain traces All Stars’s evolution from 1987,
the year they worked some serious magic on the unlikely Curry
Tabanca (the "Tabanca" of the album’s title) to 2001, when they
performed Rain Melody. Steelpan newbies will delight in the
examples of the instrument’s mimetic qualities provided by Rain
Melody and Pan Earthquake, and I can just visualize the
dyed-in-the-wool pan fans sitting in their living rooms listening to
Rain Melody and following along with the movement-by-movement
notations provided in the excellent liner notes, tickled to the
gills. Among the other gems on this CD are Kitchener’s The Power
of Music, and Sparrow’s Doh Back Back. [GP - Caribbean