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The Long Time Band

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Album Review

"Multicultural" is a word that musicians tossed around a lot in the 1990s, but claiming to have a multicultural outlook and actually showing that you have one are two different things. With The Long Time Band, Andy Narell provides an example of honest-to-God multiculturalism. Think about it: you've got a Jewish-American musician who is using an Afro-Caribbean instrument from Trinidad (the steel pan) to play a style of music that came out of the African-American community (jazz). But, as The Long Time Band demonstrates, jazz is hardly the only form of music that interests Narell. Though this is essentially a jazz CD, it's a jazz CD that contains elements of other African-American forms (funk, R&B, and blues) and also draws on everything from Afro-Cuban salsa and Afro-Caribbean calypso to African pop. Narell doesn't play "in the tradition" on this album. Rather, The Long Time Band is an example of a jazzman being fascinated with a variety of cultures and using that fascination to his creative advantage. The Long Time Band is multiculturalism in the finest sense of the word.

Customer Reviews

Melts the snow

WOW? every once in a while you come upon something really different. This is the coolest thing I've heard in years. Perhaps cool isn't the word, so hot it melts the snow from a Minnesota winter.


Born: April 18, 1954 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Andy Narell introduced the steel drums to jazz as a solo instrument, playing not only Caribbean and Latin melodies but R&B, funk, and some straight-ahead jazz. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1973, he founded the Hip Pocket label (which became associated with Windham Hill) and has recorded on a regular basis both as a leader and as a sideman ever since. In 1995, Andy Narell became a co-leader of the Caribbean Jazz Project along with Paquito d'Rivera and Dave Samuals,...
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The Long Time Band, Andy Narell
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