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NY Panyards 2004 DVD Review

by Wanda McCrae

October  2, 2005

Brooklyn Panorama 2004 is long gone.  Though many of us have forgotten the tunes we learned for that season, we have not forgotten the long hours of rehearsal, nor have we forgotten how good our bands sounded (to us, anyway) those last couple of nights leading up to the competition.  Basement Recordings' NY Panyards 2004 DVD is a crisp, professionally produced reminder of those summer nights more than a year ago.


The DVD opens with a menu of the available tracks (which is something Pan Trinbago couldn't seem to figure out how to do a year later on their Panorama 2005 DVD, by the way), allowing the viewer to easily select which of the five bands she wishes to view.  (The menu also includes the recording date and time of each band, so the viewer knows just how close competition time was at the time the video was made.)  First is Pan Sonatas, performing Yohan Popwell's winning arrangement of DeFosto's "War 2004".  CASYM's enthusiastic rehearsal of "We Like to Play," arranged by Arddin Herbert, is next, followed by Marsicans ("Celebrate [a.k.a. Bonnie and Clyde]", arranged by Pelham Goddard), D'Radoes ("Whap Cocoyea", arranged by Clive Bradley and incomplete at the time of the recording), and Pantonic ("Celebrate", also arranged by Clive Bradley).  In every case, the video and audio are sharp, with smooth transitions to various sections of the bands as they perform.  Every pannist--from the front to those hiding in the back, including every pan (empty or occupied) in-between--gets some time on-camera.  You are able to enjoy the intensity of the musicians in every section and closely study the intricate details of every arranger's work.  In fact, after watching the video, your opinion about who was and was not ready for Panorama night out of those five bands just might change, especially if your only impression of the bands came from the speakers at the Brooklyn Museum.


By now most people familiar with Brooklyn Panorama are painfully aware what they hear at the competition often bears little resemblance to what the bands are actually performing onstage, thanks to poor sound engineering at the venue.  If you want to know how the bands really sound, your best bet is to visit their panyards on the nights leading up to the competition.  If you are not able to do that, your next best option is to purchase a copy of the CD or DVD Basement Recordings made of the bands performing in their panyards.  In fact, even if you make it to the panyards, I would still recommend purchasing the recordings.  Not only will you see and hear things you probably missed in the panyard that night, you will be supporting a recording company whose traveling recording capabilities far exceed anything the sound engineers stationed at the competition have ever been able to do.  NY Panyards 2004 is a recording which truly honors the hard work of the many pannists and arrangers who participated in the 2004 Brooklyn Panorama season.

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Hear and see what makes New York Pan so special on this fabulous DVD direct from the panyards of the Big Apple.  Featured are Sonatas, CASYM, Marsicans, D'Radoes and Pantonic Steel Orchestras.

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Pan In New York 2005

An educational, historical, cultural and artistic masterpiece that showcases one of the most vibrant live music performance movements in the United States today...

The yard recordings are available from participating orchestras (CrossFire, Sonatas, CASYM, Sesame, Marsicans, Pantonic and D'Radoes
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What do Frankie McIntosh, Ralph MacDonald, Pelham Goddard, Ray Holman, Clive Bradley, Ellie Mannette, Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, Dr. Dawn Batson, Robert Greenidge, Leon "Smooth" Edwards, Garvin Blake, Andy Narell, Arddin Herbert, Liam Teague, Merle Albino-De Coteau, Edwin (Crazy) Ayoung, Ken "Professor" Philmore, Jit Samaroo, Rudy Smith, Yohan Popwell, many many others, and you have in common?

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