Dis 1. 4. Raf - Disc 1
With his first solo album in 1979 Andy Narell took the steel pan out of the steel band and brought it into the jazz band, and with every recording and concert since, he has explored the possibilities and expanded the role of the pan in contemporary music.
After several years of collaborations with the great calypsonian Relator, The WDR Big Band, Trinidad All Stars, Sakésho, and three albums of steel band music with guest soloists, Narell is back with a jazz album – a double CD featuring his Paris based quintet. CD#1 is all originals and features Cuban pianist Janysett McPherson, Cuban percussionist Inor Sotolongo, bassist Thierry Fanfant and drummer Gregory Louis from Guadeloupe. CD#2 is a set of duets with Janysett McPherson on piano.
The album opens with the title track ‘Dis 1. 4. Raf,’ which Narell composed for the 2016 Panorama in Trinidad. Dedicated to the memory of the great Trinidadian musician Raf Robertson, the song launches into a journey through Afro-Caribbean styles – calypso, soca, biguine, son montuno, rumba – all glued together by Narell’s compositions and the chemistry of a band that has played many concerts together.
Narell has made 15 prior albums as leader, plus several more as co-leader with Relator-University of Calypso), The Caribbean Jazz Project-with Paquito D’Rivera and Dave Samuels), and Sakésho-with Mario Canonge, Michel Alibo, and Jean Philippe Fanfant). He’s also made a career of playing with artists as diverse as Chucho Valdes, Bela Fleck, Marcus Miller, Maraca y Otro Vision, Bebo Valdes, Tito Puente, Flora Purim and Airto, Vince Mendoza, The Metropole Orchestra-Holland), Sixun, Andre Ceccarelli, Spyro Gyra, Dr. Billy Taylor, Etienne Charles, David Rudder, Black Stalin, Kassav, Anthony Joseph, Angelique Kidjo, Etienne Mbappe, Mokhtar Samba, Karim Ziad, Ray Lema, Kora Jazz Band, Jimmy Dludlu, Fatoumata Diawara, Vusi Mahlasela, Abderrahim Benthami, Meddy Gerville, Kepa Junkera, Philippe Lavil, Toto, Nancy Wilson, and many others. He has performed on movie scores by James Horner, Maurice Jarre, Elmer Bernstein, Hans Zimmer, Michel Colombier, and Thomas Newman, and his compositions are featured in the film ‘PAN – Our Music Odyssey,’ as well as ‘The Firm.’
The 2011 DVD release ‘ALIVE’ features two full length documentaries - ‘Andy and the Jumbies’ takes us from the panyards of Trinidad to the recording studios of New York. ‘Calypso Fever’ documents Andy’s collaboration with Michael Abene and the WDR Big Band – Andy’s 25 piece steel band from Paris, the 14 horns of the WDR Big Band, and special guest Relator to create a 40 piece orchestra for a sold out concert at the Koln Philharmonic in Germany.