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Monday, 28 December 2009

Calypso Dreams soundtrack greets Carnival season

On the eve of Carnival 2010, the producers of the widely-acclaimed film Calypso Dreams, have announced the release of a soundtrack CD featuring more than two dozen kaiso classics recorded in the field during the production of their award-winning film.
Alvin Daniell, who co-produced Calypso Dreams in T&T along with Lord Superior (Andrew Marcano) and who has published the CD on his Major & Minor label, says that the Soundtrack ’captures the heart of vintage kaiso. It is professionally reproduced on Compact Disk to provide a cultural treasure that dares you not to sing along while you listen to vintage calypso at its best.’
Superior, whose classic calypso guitar solos and back-up vocals are featured on the CD (along with his hit ’Trinidad Carnival’) said the CD is both ’timely and timeless.’ He called it one of the ’richest collections of vintage kaiso’ ever assembled.
The Calypso Dreams Soundtrack-produced by Michael Horne and executive produced by filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn and international reggae star Eddy Grant-celebrates the music of several Calypso giants who have passed away in recent years, including Mighty Duke, Mighty Terror, Lord Blakie and Mystic Prowler. The always popular Lord Relator also pays homage to the late Grandmaster Aldwyn Roberts in ’A Tribute to Kitchener’.
Additional contributions from Calypso Rose, Brother Valentino, Mighty Bomber, Lord Brigo, Crazy, Gypsy, Regeneration Now, Mighty Striker, Power, Poser, Explainer, Brother Mudada, Conqueror, and Brother Akil round out the all-star selection.
Producer Horne says that his ’approach with this compilation was to capture that sense of the ’poor man’s newspaper’ referred to again and again in the film. Without regard for the hits or whether the songs were danceable or marketable, these are simply stories about daily life, politics, love and sex, sung man-to-man, friend-to-friend. That is Calypso.’
Dunn, who’s been a cultural presence in T&T for most of the past decade, says that the CD reflects the essence of ’raw kaiso.’
’Some of my favorite selections on this CD are those that were recorded in the Good Times Pub on Henry Street,’ Dunn noted. ’Blakie and Relator and Conqueror were magnificent there. You can hear patrons singing in the background, playing ashtrays, clinking their glasses. The Calypso Dreams Soundtrack brings back kaiso to its roots, which is out in the community, among the people.’
Dunn said another favorite session was recorded on the veranda of the now-demolished Pelican Inn. ’It was a very casual set at which several calypsonians came and went-Superior, Poser, Mudada, Rose, Crazy, Akil, Explainer-and one of my favorite songs, Poser’s ’Ah Go Party Tonight,’ features a great guitar riff by Supie and a wonderful backup vocal by Rose. It’s a jewel.’
The feature-length version of Calypso Dreams, which was released in DVD format throughout the Caribbean earlier this year, has been called ’the most important cinematic expression out of Trinidad and Tobago’ and ’one of the greatest films of the English-speaking Caribbean.’
Dunn, who is currently completing a book on national US politics, acknowledged there is some truth to the rumor that he is exploring another film project in T&T during the coming year. ’We’ll see if the pieces all come together,’ Dunn said. ’If there’s one thing I learned from the production of Calypso Dreams, it’s that you can’t force these matters ahead of schedule. They happen in due time.’
Dunn said that he would keep Trinidad and Tobago Film Company director Carla Foderingham (who also receives a credit on the CD) abreast of ’all future developments’.
According to Daniell, both the Calypso Dreams CD and DVD are available in the following locations in Trinidad: Crosby’s Music Centre; Cleve’s One Stop Music Shop; Kam’s Record Shop; Ryhner’s (2000) Caribbean Ltd. at the Airport; Token Records; and DiscoTrak in Curepe.
Hollis Johnson Special to the Sunday Express



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