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Boogsie, Steelpan and Christmas
It is fitting that we close the year with a Christmas CD from Len Boogsie Sharpe who led Phase II to win the 2005 Steelband Panorama. It is common - place to hear plaudits year round of his extraordinary artistry as a composer and arranger. This Christmas many will experience his range of talent through Boogsie's "The Golden Memories of Xmas". Whether you're on the North Pole or in Port-of-Spain, you'll feel you're home from the first track.
"Latin Parang", which could be called more appropriately "We Parang", brings several contemporary music sounds into harmony. This soca parang has a chutney shading from the harmonium-like introduction and its influence almost takes you out of the Christmas season. But not for long.
Voices lead, and sometimes accompany, the pan on the traditional seasonal songs. In many, tradition comes only in the title. For example, there is a jazz rhythm to "Little Drummer Boy" with a cappella-like voices by the Lydian Singers. Similarly, the pan and choir blend sweetly in the Latin sounding "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear". Then, Phelham Goddard, who is a co-arranger with Boogsie, introduces "Jingle Bells" with electronic chimes. The four tracks make the case for adding Boogsie's "The Golden Memories of Xmas" to your collection. Buy it and get eight more tracks as a bonus.
[eCaroh/Ron – October 2005]
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