Clive Bradley - The Spirit of Panorama and More

by Garvin Blake - WST Special

Clive Bradley

Panist Garvin Blake Speaks on Clive Bradley

Clive Bradley, Emmanuel “Jack” Riley, Garvin Blake
Clive Bradley, Emmanuel “Jack” Riley, Garvin Blake

New York, USA - I first met Clive Bradley in the summer of 1981, on Fulton Street in Brooklyn. It was one of the happiest days of my life. I will forever be grateful for the knowledge and wisdom he imparted on me. Anytime I spent with Bradley was precious. From his insightful comments on harmony to his bold statements on the human condition, I always left Bradley's company with ideas and concepts to ponder for days, years, maybe a lifetime. He had one of the best minds I ever encountered.

The pan world has lost its signature voice. Bradley embodied the spirit of panorama. It's inconceivable to envision panorama without him. Somewhere seeping through the canopies, you'll hear echoes of his artistry. His articulate phrasing, majestic harmonies and syncopated rhythms will be present in the music of current and future arrangers for generations. The legend will live.

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 created some of his most stirring works from material overlooked or discarded by others. 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.

He took music rooted in Trinidad and gave it a global feel. He lifted the veil and allowed the world to see us as a people, in all our glory, with all our faults . Through music, he revealed himself and his culture in very personal and profound ways. He held nothing back. His bike had no brakes.

He once told me "I don't compete with them, they compete with me" and then followed up by saying "but I can always out think them".

Yeah Brados, Thanks. 

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