- For 2007, champion steelband arranger
Len 'Boogsie' Sharpe says that with the National Panorama finals looming on the
night of Saturday February 17, and both his flagship steel orchestra Phase II
Pan Groove, and in the medium category - Dixieland Steel Orchestra in the
running, he has a 'good feeling' about the competition at Skinner Park, San Fernando.
Like that historic occasion in the making, Boogsie himself is looking not only
to score the elusive hat trick in the large steel orchestra category with Phase
II Pan Groove, but also to becoming the only arranger to do so with his own
compositions. The arranger composed the music for
which was sung by Edwin Ayoung aka Crazy. The 2005 and 2006 panorama-winning arranger pointed out that
though mega orchestra Renegades is the only one to date to cop three consecutive panorama
titles, they were not all accomplished
with the selections written by their arranger - Dr. Jit Samaroo.
Then there is the possibility of additional sweetness for
the arranger. This year, with Boogsie's arrangement for Tobago-based orchestra Dixieland, who came out
ahead of the pack in the semi-finals round in the medium orchestra category,
there is a chance of a double championship title. If
Dixieland retains its leadership position on final night, along with Phase II in the large category - it would be a
blissful night of firsts for Len 'Boogsie' Sharpe, and indeed the history of pan.
In regard to Phase II, the arranger
feels that they have a 'good tune.' If they (Phase II)
"do as they have been told, what they have been asked to do...everything will be alright...it's different music, new ideas, and we bring all this to the pan. This is
what you hear from Phase II" stated the arranger. There were only few
changes, Boogsie said, from the semi-finals versions of the selection, and what
will be rendered on Saturday night at the competition.
Exclusive interview with Len 'Boogsie' Sharpe -
Phase II Pan Groove and Dixieland Steel
With regard to the hat trick, "you
could get one win, you could get two wins, but three wins is
- kind of hard," Boogsie admitted. "It's a tough one,
but I think we have the music to pull it off." Asked
about the position Phase II was playing in the competition,
directly before another champion and powerhouse steel
orchestra, Trinidad All Stars, Boogsie said he believed
they had the better music, and he 'hoped the
judges agreed with him.' "It's not no camouflage
thing, not no gimmick thing - it's music we dealing with"
affirmed the Phase II arranger, "but may the best band win."
Last year, Trinidad All Stars ran second to Phase II in the
Dixieland, one of two orchestras from
Tobago in the medium category who made it to the finals, is 'feeling confident'
said Boogsie, noting that they were being drilled by Natasha. He went on
to say that this was the first time he had arranged music by De Fosto.
Dixieland opted for one of the calypsonian's 2007 musical offerings, Pan
Lamentation. "It was nice, you know, it was a challenge to me" said
Boogsie, noting that De Fosto has 'the longest kaisos in the world'; "it's [Pan
Lamentation] a long song, and you have eight minutes to play with...the
composition, the verse and chorus, it's a long piece, and by the time you play
two rounds, you're close to the eight minutes...so you have to know how you're
putting the arrangement..." But Boogsie is very happy with the result, and
Dixieland's execution of his work. "They really have a nice tune."
As he was running off to the panyard,
Boogsie took time to thank the pan community. "Thanks to all the Phase II fans
out there, and look out for us, look at the music...is music we judging...pound
for pound, I think we have the better tune, different approach...Thanks to the
world of pan, and thanks for supporting pan, and thanks for supporting Phase II
Pan Groove, and - may the best band win" said Boogsie.