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When Giants Salute and Titans Bow

As told to When Steel Talks


Provided with the expressed permission of Basement Recordings

 
"Clive Bradley was not just a musician, he was a genius.  A very talented and also a very professional person.  So analytical was Bradley's mind that he did everything in depth."
- Merle Albino-de Coteau - noted adjudicator, musician, historian, arranger & educator
 
"Bradley was a giver; as a teacher, as a musician, as a creator. He helped us to understand a bit better this instrument of beauty, its capabilities and its potential. He brought us joy through his music and his personality. Clive Bradley, I’ll always remember."
- Dr. Dawn Batson - noted arranger & educator - Professor of Music at Florida Memorial University, USA
 
"Teacher, musician, arranger.  Bradley brought to the forefront not only his understanding of music, but of the people and the culture of Trinidad...  People old and young have anecdotes to share about their encounters with Bradley.  In this time when our legends are typically images on a television screen this is a rare and precious gift which we should not take for granted."
- Angela Howard - steelpan musician/writer
 

"Bradley was a master musical painter. He didn't need a 'pan tune', with the clichéd chord progressions and well-worn melodies, as a canvas.  He found beauty everywhere. His orchestral sensibilities were unparalleled, enabling him to produce symphonic colors that were beyond belief. Bradley left us an incredible body of work that will be enjoyed, studied, debated, criticized and cherished forever."

- Garvin Blake - noted steelpan performing artist and arranger
 

"Bradley was the kind of artist who could see the beauty in something that would generally be considered by others to be, low-brow, tawdry and insignificant. He was, in many ways, a humanist, resurrecting from the olden days, musical riffs, motifs and presenting them to his contemporary audiences with a modern twist that made these antiquated concepts and styles simple, relevant, appealing and hip. His music and his approach to it was the epitome of the idea that “there’s complexity in simplicity”."

- Collins Jackman - arranger New York Nutones

 

"Clyde’s rendition of Oba’s ‘In My House’ certainly personified Oba’s message. On that night he left everyone open-mouthed at what a man and a pan can do. Desperadoes produced the most sensational performance; they sizzled and took the crown... Clyde has duly given more than his fair share to the art form, his music will continue to inspire many young and aspiring pan musicians for a very long time."

- Robbie Joseph - noted journalist and PRO for British Association of Steelbands
 

"Clive was one of the greatest musicians ever produced by this country [Trinidad & Tobago].  He was a master of orchestration.  He had a fine mind and was very witty.  He was a fantastic musician.  It is a terrific loss - there can only be one Bradley."

- Ray Holman - noted panorama-winning arranger for Starlift
 

"Bradley was the best and he could play every instrument you could think of.  He was amazing."

- Anne Fridal - noted opera singer is the first to perform operatic versions of calypsos

 
 

"Indeed, Clive Bradley was much more than a great music arranger, more than a great music mind. Mr. Bradley was an intellectual that had the ability to speak the language of the masses through his music. Bradley understood pan and what it meant in the bigger social context.  He was the people's arranger with a legendary ability to tell their story through music."

- T. John - Engineer
 

"I and Bradley - together years ago.  Bradley introduced us to the whole studio scene in a way... This will be a great great loss to the whole pan scene...  He was a genius."

- Pelham Goddard noted panorama-winning arranger for Exodus
 

"In the midst of all the merrymaking that carnival is supposed to be; that handling of the minor key makes you remember those two masks... One mask is smiling and one mask is weeping. His minor always had this terrible, gut-wrenching quality about it.  The tragic underside of the human condition.  Nobody can do it like that - I don't know that anyone ever will...  And it seemed to embody everything that I think Mr. Bradley was, that he knew life as - brilliant and he knew it as tragic.  And his music said that,  and in that way it became almost a mirror of Trinidad life..."

- Pat Bishop - noted World Steelband Music Festival winning arranger
 

"There is only one Clive Bradley who gave us exceptional music.  Clive is my friend... He was a very sharing man and a very private man.  It is a great, great loss.  I have lost my friend... for me he used to create magic..."

- Ella Andall - noted international performing artist
 

"Clive was - as we say - one of the greatest arrangers in pan.  He was a mathematician - he was able to subtract and divide and add to the music, and do with the music whatever he think needed to be done; and he knew sometimes that silence was golden.  We need to continue, and do the best we can to make him smile. We need to continue to create - and the bands, Desperadoes, then Pantonic, D'Radoes and Metro in New York - and all the other bands he arranged for.  We must continue to celebrate his life and be joyful, and not be sad, because he would not have wanted us to do that."

- Robert Greenidge - noted panorama-winning  & current arranger for Pan Knights
 

"A great musician.  A great loss to the pan world for sure.  There is only one Clive Bradley.  There is no one who does a panorama tune like Clive Bradley.  He has his style which was very effective. He looked at a song and lyrics and used that.  The guy is genius.  He's a top-of-the-line musician."

- Jit Samaroo noted panorama-winning arranger for Renegades
 

"He is unquestionably a giant, master, legendary, - what I will remember him most for is his good nature and jolly demeanor.  He was so personable.  In terms of his music - his harmonies, his creativity - no one is close to him.  I don't think we will ever have the honor to have another Clive Bradley..."

- Arddin Herbert - arranger for CASYM and Invaders Steel Orchestra
 

"The world has lost a musical genius, and the steelband in particular has lost its best arranger.  It hurts a lot but we've got to move on.  I've known Mr. Bradley for over 25 years and he was always a pleasant person.  Sometimes he gave you a little trouble but he always made you laugh in the end, always made you happy at the end... It's been a pleasure working with him, I must say... "

- Keith Roberts -Captain of Pantonic Steel Orchestra
 

"The pan movement all over world has lost one of its great arrangers and composers.  He will surely be missed.  I can't even imagine a panorama without him.  Bradley's arrangements were unique.  This year he won in New York - this year - he came 1st and 2nd [in the New York Panorama competition].  He won Pan In The 21st Century [in Trinidad]...  He was on a roll...  The world is mourning a great, great guy.  A very nice guy and a genius...  The whole [2006 Trinidad & Tobago] panorama will be in his honor."

- Patrick Arnold - President of Pan Trinbago
 

"It's a tremendous loss to the whole steelband movement throughout the entire world.  Clive Bradley has touched the lives of all of us as young arrangers in so many prolific ways - listening to his music and listening to him speak.  It is a tragic loss.  And while we mourn his passing, I in particular, and the steelband movement am real happy that we were able to enjoy... his concepts and ideas in music and harmonization and so on - he inspired us to work for higher heights."

- David 'Peck' Edwards - panorama-winning arranger and manager for Grenada's New Dimension Steel Orchestra
 
"When I think of Clive the first thing that comes to mind is intelligence...  you were dealing a with very gifted person.  Clive was innovative and had no serious counterpart..."
- Dr. Finbar Fletcher Manager Desperadoes Steel Orchestra
 

"Mr. Clive Bradley is one of the most innovative arrangers or musicians that the pan community has seen in its short existence.  And he was an inspiration to me as well as my brothers -- Listening to the old Desperadoes and even Pantonic of late - it has been an inspiration.  And I hope all the pan players who have played his music in the past, use his music to learn from him."

- Sherwin Thwaites - composer steelpan , arranger, performing artist
 
"For the moments when the music was so colorful, so sweet, it made you happy to be alive and listening to a big steelband. Bradley the magician. That's how I'd like to remember him."
-Andy Narell - noted composer steelpan , arranger, performing artist
 
"He was the consummate musician, not only in his sense of craftsmanship - his ability to put sounds together in interesting ways.. - but conceptually in terms of what he thought about what he was doing - and how he intended to match it to the people that he was working with. Truly, truly, an extraordinary man in that regard. For me, I saw this as just an extraordinary opportunity to try to connect with someone who clearly is a giant at what he does... We use this word 'genius' all too frequently, and often it is mis-applied. But here is a person, who I think that the term is absolutely à propos... His music was just simply stunning..."
 -Dr. Robert Stephens - Professor of Music at University of Connecticut, USA
   
"Sir Bradley indeed did make his contribution to the steelband movement....a very valuable one indeed..!!  A lot of arrangers who started after him (including myself), benefited tremendously from the high standards that he set for us.... May his soul rest in peace....!!"
 -Leon "Smooth" Edwards - noted panorama-winning arranger for Trinidad All Stars
 
"Gemonites Steel Orchestra (Antigua) has always favored and respected Clive, Boogsie and Jit as arrangers, but my personal favorite is Clive. Quite effortlessly, Clive has managed to achieve, through his music, a level of consistency and satisfaction.  He has also made arranging seem so easy.

The world feels the void that his passing has created but let us dwell, not on what we have no control over, but on all the wonderful music and experiences he shared with us all." 

-Robin Margetson - panorama-winning arranger and manager for Antigua's Gemonites Steel Orchestra
 
I hear his musical expression as a vibrant present rooted in a golden past --- a past which includes Bertram Innis, Vasso Defreitas, Otmar Devlught and others. Expression which evinces a spirit of daring.........daring to introduce novel ideas and fresh techniques to audiences, rather than simply re-present the familiar.

-Frankie McIntosh - noted arranger, composer, musician
 

"GREATEST! RIP. You will always be remembered.

-Hueloy Lila Yip Young - co-founder of the renown Solo Harmonites of Trinidad and Tobago

 
"Bradley is the greatest steelband arranger that ever passed through in our time - he was a boss!" 
 
-Len "Boogsie" Sharpe - noted panorama-winning arranger for Phase II Pan Groove
 

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