Wednesday 9th March, 2005

 

Sparks of brilliance at concert for pan legend

 
 
 
 
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Legendary tuner and inventor of the double-tenor pan, Bertie Marshall, second from right, beckons towards a smiling Clyde “Lightning” George, left, while arrangers Earl Brooks, right, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, centre, and Charlie Pinder look on during intermission at the Lightning Strikes Twice concert at the Mas Camp on Monday night.

Photo: David Wears

BY MICHAEL MONDEZIE

Sparks of brilliance flew from the double-tenor pan of jazz musician Clyde “Lightning” George, as he showed his star power and lit up the Mas Camp Entertainment Centre on French Street, Woodbrook, on Monday night.

Backed by an all-star band that included ace guitarist Tony Voisin and keyboardist Allan Oxley, George turned in a spirited display, all in the name of his mentor and creator of the very pan he played, legendary tuner Bertie Marshall.

Marshall called for assistance from the pan fraternity back in December to help him pay his medical bills after he had a diabetic stroke last year.

George first answered the call in February with a concert on Carnival Sunday at Diego Martin Pan Institute.

On Monday, this time with Marshall seated stage-front, he responded again, with some swift stick work that brought tears to Marshall’s eyes.

George opened the show at 9 pm with a moving rendition of A Song for My Father, followed by Green Dolphin Street, before upping the tempo to deliver One Note Samba.

With two sticks in his right hand and one in his left, an animated George directed his band and cued in solos from each instrument, drawing applause from the small crowd.

Despite the small turnout, several prominent pannists and enthusiasts were also in the house, including Pamberi’s Nestor Sullivan, Starlift’s Larry Largen, Charlie Pinder, Edme Gibbon and Franklyn Ollivierrie of Phase II Pan Groove, and Shaka Nkhosi, calypsonians Black Stalin and Skatie, rapso artiste Brother Resistance, impresario Choy Aming, and Witco executive Danielle Chow.

Also present were Witco Desperadoes manager Dr Finbar Fletcher, pan tuner Roland Harragin, jazz promoter Dawad Phillips and pan enthusiast Mervyn Telfer.

George was then joined on stage by vocalist Candice Roberts and calypsonian Edwin “Crazy” Ayoung, who performed the duet, My Satin Doll.

Given centre stage, Roberts struggled through the well-known Girl From Ipanema.

Ayoung also doubled as a presenter and gave the audience a tickle with his wacky comedy.

Phase II Pan Groove arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe and renowned arranger/recording artiste Earl Brooks joined George and quartet for a memorable performance.

This segment, which brought the curtains down on the night’s entertainment, included Ayoung singing a tribute to Marshall, another to the contribution by women to the development of the national instrument, and Backyard Party, one of Kitchener’s lesser known ditties.

©2004-2005 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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