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Pleasing pan at Ilaro

John Sealy

Pleasing pan at Ilaro

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Grynner, Lil Rick and RPB saw to it that the hundreds who turned up at Ilaro Court for the First Citizens Pan Fusion left with pep in their step during a high energy set at the Pantasy After Party.
Before that, patrons sat through a session of “pan fusions” and gave applause that was almost polite.
It was not the quality of pan that left much to be desired. The music was good enough.
But the expansive environs of Ilaro Court, accompanying overcast conditions along with a weak moon fighting to make a breakthrough and the more mature and seemingly conservative crowd might have influenced negatively any early gay abandon.
The Royal Barbados Police Force Band, under the baton of musical director Superintendent Keith Ellis, and Pan Extreme created fine synergies and harmonies on stage.
The two entities drew on a wide range of musical works comprising Biggie Irie’s Nah Going Home and Can’t Be Ova and Alison Hinds’ Roll.
The Police Band and Pan Extreme ended their set with the Merrymen’s Beautiful Barbados, which got one of the louder responses.
Among the audience were Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett and Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss.
The evergreen Banks Sound Tech Steel Orchestra delivered much better in their second half with an accent on more Caribbean vibes.
American trio and headliner Jonathan Scales Fourchestra comprising Jonathan Scales on pan, Cody Wright bass and Phill Bronson drums stood out more for their individual competence. It was not easy to absorb them as a collective and their jazz/rock fusions might have been too heady for the audience.
They lived up perfectly to their mission statement: melting faces and touching lives though complex melodic intricacies over metrically juxtaposed rhythmic foundations.
Arturo Tappin continues to reinforce his credentials as one of Barbados’ outstanding musicians and his willingness to show it with all modesty. He was not only a performer, but teacher, as he engaged his supporting musicians and the crowd with an exhibition of saxophone artistry in When Horn Meets Steel – The Conversation.
It was billed as Earl Brooks Junior and band, but Brooks on pan did not speak very effectively – no fault of his since his pan was not audible most times.
Arturo, however, took the audience on a Happy ride, the Pharrell Williams hit eliciting the first signs that the crowd was locking into the “fusion”. An invitation by host Belle Holder to take to the dance floor could not be resisted by the now hyped-up pan lovers, who included Inniss.
This created a lead-in for the Pantasy After Party that featured Grynner, Lil Rick and RPB backed by the Karibbean Kentic Band.