Andy Narell

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Hidden Treasure (january 1979 - Inner City, 1979) **
Stickman (Hippocket, 1981) (Windham Hill, 198#) **
Light In Your Eyes (Hippocket, 1983) (Windham Hill, 198#) *
Slow Motion (Hippocket, 1985) (Windham Hill, 198#) ***
The Hammer (Windham Hill, 1987) ***
Little Secrets (Windham Hill, 1989) ***
Down The Road (Windham Hill, 1992) *
The Long Time Band (Windham Hill, 1995) **
Caribbean Jazz Project (Heads Up, 1995) **
Behind the Bridge (1998) *
Fire In The Engine Room (Heads Up, 2000) ***
Sakesho (2002) *
Passage (Heads Up, 2005) **

Andy Narell (nato nel 1954, cresciuto a New York, laureato a Berkeley) è uno dei primi virtuosi dei metallofoni (steel drums), degli strumenti delle "steel band" di Trinidad. Con i suoi dischi ha creato uno dei primi stili d'"autore", che si ispira più che altro al jazz.

Ha iniziato nei Listen (august 1975) del reed player Mel Martin e dal 1979 ha preso a registrare dischi in cui i metallofoni sono i protagonisti, spingendosi ben oltre di convenzioni di Trinidad.

Stickman (july 1980 - Hippocket, 1981) contained only three originals, notably Stickman and Oz. Light In Your Eyes (march 1983) was still fundamentally a pop album, although it contained the nine-minute Whitestone. Slow Motion (march 1985) contains short and long tracks that fuse different Latin American styles and are basically pretexts for the leader's improvisations. The more mature and austere The Hammer (1987), featuring David Rudder, contains the ten-minute Jour Ouvert, besides the soca hits Bahia Girl and The Hammer. Formally one of his best albums, Little Secrets (Windham Hill, 1989) boasted lengthy sophisticated pieces such as We Kinda Music, Chamcha's Cha Cha Narell , Armchair Psychology , Don't Look Back , The Songlines , but the polished sound was clearly an attempt to capture the new-age audience. The ratio of mellow ballad-like pieces further increased on Down The Road (Windham Hill, 1992). The Long Time Band (Windham Hill, 1995) returned Narell to a more comfortable pan-ethnic format (Bacchanal). Behind the Bridge (1998) collected mostly covers. On the contrary, Fire In The Engine Room (2000) was a set of eight long and exuberant originals, from Coffee Street to The Long Way Back (one of his standouts), from Blue Mazooka to Tabanca. Sakesho (2002) was a bit too lighthearted though.

Il Caribbean Jazz Project comprende anche il sassofonista Paquito D'Rivera e il vibrafonista Dave Samuels. Carousel, Como Un Bolero e Valse Triste sono fra le sue danze più suggestive di sempre. Anche la Long Time Band vive soprattutto di motivi festosi, come il Bacchanal.

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Narell perhaps achieved his zenith of composition and arrangement with Passage (Heads Up, 2005), which is more than jazz music for steel pan since it is scored for a 30-piece steel-pan orchestra (the Calypsociation) and assorted jazz guests. The Passage (recorded in 2004) and a new version of Coffee Street are the highlights.

Vocalist and guitarist Relator stole the show on University of Calypso (2009).

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