Date:  6.29.05

New York

Brooklyn's Finest Come Together

Their names ring like an All-Star team of some of the most talented and respected steelpan musicians in North America.  In the steelpan arena they are recognized with single names.  An honor that is reserved for an elite few.  Their reserve and humility creates a mystique about them - that is only matched by their monster talent.  Moreover, their youthful looks and tender ages belie their accomplishments, resolve and musical knowledge base.  And in one of the most competitive arenas where you are only as good as your last hit - this crew intends to break new ground and let their music do the talking.

Sheldon Elcock, Freddie Harris, Iman Pascall, Kareem Thompson, Khuent Rose

Sheldon Elcock, Freddie Harris, III,  Iman Pascall, Kareem Thompson and Khuent Rose are the main ingredients in a special recording project backed by Basement Recordings.  The project, in addition to showcasing the awesome performing skills of this elite group of  players, will also highlight the arranging, writing and expertise of its members.  New, original music for the steelpan family of instruments will be heard as a result of the diverse backgrounds of the players, and will cover unique, distinct and diverse genres of music.

Basement Recordings production team has reported that the initial sessions have already delivered musical pieces that they believe have the potential to become classics beyond the steelpan arena.  "These are great musicians who just happened to use the steelpan instrument as their instrument of choice.   Few can match their mastery and command of the instruments.  However, it is the group's ability to come together and create music that is far greater than the sum of its parts - that makes these sessions magical.  They have created music that is modern, challenging, educational,  enjoyable, fresh and progressive, while remarkably and unabashedly continuing  in the traditions of their ancestors.  Moreover, they motivate and feed off each other in a way that enhances their individual and collective creative processes." 

On bass is arranger, composer, and designer Sheldon Elcock who, at an early age was labeled as "the best bass player in North America" by the steelpan music master Len "Boogsie" Sharpe.  In addition to his playing abilities, Sheldon is the originator of the now popular bass layout used by Panyard, Inc.  For this project Sheldon has again developed yet another unique layout and low register instrument to meet the demands of this Basement Recordings group initiative.  Furthermore, Sheldon has redefined our expectations for the steelpan bass player.  Simply put, Sheldon is a monster bass player of any type.  Sheldon calls this group's line-up "the cream of the crop."

On tenor is Freddie Harris III, noted musical director, scholar, composer, arranger and performer whose creative flair for the instrument has created a buzz among the New York music circuit.  Freddie has written stellar pieces for the instrument that reconnects our appreciation for funk and rhythm and blues.  His deftness takes the instrument past the expected sonic and technical limits.  Freddie sees this situation as "the dream team with the musicians he envisioned playing with."

On mid range steelpan is arranger and composer, Khuent Rose, whose musical genius and aptitude is second only to his ability to see and "hear" colors, and to  subsequently generate cohesive musical themes and passages that are limited only by his imagination.  Khuent is indeed a rare and special musician who comes along once in a blue moon.  Khuent is quite pleased with the line-up as he states "the people are fluent and literate in music.  There is great ease in communication with the musicians and there are no egos."

Kareem Thompson, while only a teenager is a veteran steelpan jazz performer around the New York area whose unconstrained but smooth performing style is the envy of his peers.  Kareem will handle second and tenor duties.  This young man, with all the talent present, says "we are sure to bring something that's never been heard before."

Iman Pascall is an unassuming, rising international star whose potential is boundless.  Iman has appeared on and conquered world stages.  Her performances are becoming increasingly renowned.  She is undisputedly one of the best tenor players in America.  This young woman knows this project will be very influential in her future.  As part of the frontline and handling the higher-range instruments within this group, Iman looks forward to working with this caliber of musicians.


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