listening to two short samples of ten-minute
performances by Moods Pan Groove as captured by
Basement Recordings live outside their yard in 1994 and
1995, as they prepared for the New York Panorama
competition. The arrangers are Robert Greenidge
and Len "Boogsie" Sharpe respectively.
York - One
can not really have a serious discussion about pan in New York
without talking about Moods Pan Groove.
The long-time steelband music staple has it's name
permanently etched in the annals of steelband music history.
Led by their president Clyde Durant, a New York pan stalwart
and pillar of the New York steelband movement - Moods Pan
Groove established itself as one of New York's premier
orchestras through the 1980's and 1990's.
Established in 1976 by noted arranger Brian "Bean" Griffith,
Moods was always known for it's cutting edge sound and musical
direction. Musically, in many ways, Moods was ahead of
its time, as their music refused to be defined and confined to
the traditional steelband accepted boundaries and
norms. Many have surmised that it was because of their
defiant and uncompromising musical attitude, that robbed Moods
Pan Groove of more panorama victories than their sole 1977
championship. However, whatever they may have lost in panorama
wins, they more than made up for in respect from their
peers for their ability and musical influence on the sound
of pan in New York. Moreover, their music and
performances have passed the test of time and only gets
better with each passing year and listening. Moods has
laid down some of the greatest pan music ever in
the history of New York or Trinidad.
Sheldon Elcock of Moods Pan Groove
feel and sound of New York pan is different than anywhere
else in the world. Simply put, New York steelband music
has a funky attitude with a heavy dose of Rhythm and Blues.
It's appeal is truly global. While this trend can be
found in all the successful NY steel orchestras, no one
embodied this know-how like Moods Pan Groove. For the
majority of Moods existence, they have been led by the
musical direction of two immensely talented and renown
composers / arrangers - the
legendary Len "Boogsie" Sharpe and the great
Robert Greenidge. Indeed, Robert Greenidge
and Len 'Boogsie' Sharpe represent two of the best composers
and arrangers, of what are, undisputedly, the greatest
tuned percussions in ensembles to
ever grace the Americas - the steelpans.
both 1994 and 1995 Basement Recordings captured Moods Pan
Groove's panyard performances as they prepared for panorama
with a then-unheard of Yamaha 24 bit digital recorder.
The results are two remarkable recordings of Moods Pan
Groove playing "No Wuk for Carnival" and "Four Lara Four"
as arranged, respectively, by Robert Greenidge and Len "Boogsie" Sharpe.
Two short two-minute samples of the ten-minute performances are provided
here for your listening pleasure. Please be advised
that these samples are reduced quality mp3s that in no way
come close to the sonic audio quality of the original
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