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Track Listing:

  1. One for P.F.
  2. Click here to play a sound clip! Girl from Ipanema
  3. Someone
  4. Someone Else
  5. Click here to play a sound clip! Tin Man
  6. Click here to play a sound clip! Lluvia Azul
  7. Ribbon in the Sky
  8. Shadow of a Doubt
  9. Mara Bela... for T.C.
  10. Still de Best
  11. Someone Else (Remix)

Tropical Ensemble
Still De Best!

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Reviews

The second release by this Baltimore-based small ensemble has a less vibrant recording level than is usual today, but, all in all, this is a pleasant, well-arranged sampling of pan music in the easy listening mode. The album comprises pop and jazz selections from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Toto and Gato Barbieri and original compositions by album producer and double tenor player Emrold Gray. Andy Narell's brother Jeff is guest soloist and arranger on Barbieri's lovely Lluvia Azul. (GP/eC)

Ron's Personal Review

Few US based steelband recordings are impressive. Still De Best from Maryland deserves attention mostly because of how it compares to Tropical Ensemble's first CD, and the overall listening pleasure it gives in this one. The tone and styling sounds somewhat Panazzesque and the repertoire is to be commended. There are some familiar tunes - Tin Man is my favorite, and a few original compositions. Then there is Lluvia Azul - Gato Barbieri on Pan! Nicely rendered for quiet listening. I even liked the sad love song vocal.

While these attributes make this CD a must for my personal collection, I did have a disappointment that seems to be an unfortunate feature even among the master Pannists of today. The Pan is sometimes overwhelmed by the other instruments - bass guitar, drums or keyboards. What is forgiving in this recording, as compared to many similar recordings of late, is that eventually the Pan gets at least equal decibel prominence. The trend toward understating the Pan takes away the distinctiveness of Pan in these fusion type ensembles and renditions. Most Pan music lovers want the evolution to continue but in the end it is Pan we want to hear. Still De Best gives us something to enjoy.

Still De Best - Tropical Ensemble Music CD

Few US based steelband recordings are impressive. Still De Best from Maryland deserves attention mostly because of how it compares to Tropical Ensemble's first CD, and the overall listening pleasure it gives in this one. The tone and styling sounds somewhat Panazzesque and the repertoire is to be commended. There are some familiar tunes - Tin Man is my favorite, and a few original compositions. Then there is Lluvia Azul - Gato Barbieri on Pan! Nicely rendered for quiet listening. I even liked the sad love song vocal.

While these attributes make this CD a must for my personal collection, I did have a disappointment that seems to be an unfortunate feature even among the master Pannists of today. The Pan is sometimes overwhelmed by the other instruments - bass guitar, drums or keyboards. What is forgiving in this recording, as compared to many similar recordings of late, is that eventually the Pan gets at least equal decibel prominence. The trend toward understating the Pan takes away the distinctiveness of Pan in these fusion type ensembles and renditions. Most Pan music lovers want the evolution to continue but in the end it is Pan we want to hear. Still De Best gives us something to enjoy.
[eCaroh]

 

 

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Last update: 03/19/12

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