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Gospel on steel ó why not? ASDASO offers 14 competently-performed renderings of sacred and religious standards, including Joyful, Joyful (Ode to Joy), Amazing Grace, the Hallelujah Chorus, and How Great Thou Art. A nice addition to the music library of any Christian pan fan, this recording could also provide good background for a wedding. [GP - Caribbean Beat]
"ASDASO is a musical vehicle committed to the spreading of the Gospel of Christ on steel. Herein lies a language of music, indigenous to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, that ASDASO has employed quite proficiently, to prove that the communication of the Gospel worldwide is not limited to one 'tongue.' Indeed ASDASO's 'pantastic' ability and giftedness serve to remind us that 'everything that has breath can praise the lord."
Steve Riley, Pastor Arima SDA Church,
"I had the privilege of sharing a stage with this Gospel [steel] band from Arima, and I'm pleased to say that the musical arrangements and general performance ... [are] of a high level. I am certain that this CD will be a collector's item."
Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, Arranger, Composer, and Pannist.
BACKGROUND OF ASDASO
The Arima Seventh Day Adventist Steel Orchestra (ASDASO) was formed in the mid 90's as a response to a need for a 'permanent' steel orchestra to render sacred music via the refreshing sound of steel. The Band is part of the Gospel Ministry of the Arima SDA Church, which is located at 19 DeGannes Street in the Borough of Arima in the beautiful twin-island state of Trinidad and Tobago.
ASDASO has a team of some seventeen players-with ages ranging from 12-55, who have been putting in an average of ten hours weekly in dedicated practice and musical ministry. The Band is directed by a man of long standing experience in the steel band musical world in the person of Phillip Wellington. On the level of musical arrangement, the Band is directed by one of the luminaries in the world of steel orchestra music in the person of Nervin Saunders-who packs more than 30 years of experience in arranging steel music professionally for several steel orchestras in Trinidad and Tobago-both secularly and religiously.
ASDASO's musical instruments [pans] are tuned and blended by one of the most experienced pan tuners in the island of Trinidad and Tobago in the person of Mr. Patrick Worrell. Mr. Worrell has over 18 years experience in the pan-blending business. The sweet blending of the music that resonates in this production is as a direct result of his skills in the art.
ASDASO has played before many audiences, dignitaries, churches, and for several humanitarian functions in Trinidad over a period of four years.
With a dedicated management team and an equally dedicated group of players, ASDASO is committed to bringing the Gospel Message to all peoples on a possible global basis. This we believe can be done through the production of its first Compact Disc Echoes of Praise, and with your support as you seek to purchase this CD.
The Band has matured through the years, and so has its music. After many hundreds of hours of practice, and many professional appearances, ASDASO and members of the religious community are of the firm view that their musical productions must not go unrecorded in the pages of history. This CD is an attempt to immortalize their hard work over the years, and through it, bring renewed listening pleasure to those who have experienced the appearances of ASDASO, and to bring such experiences to those not so privileged.
© 2001 Anthony Brumble
Feature [Trinidad Express October 8, 2001]
Simeon Sandiford's owner/producer of Sanch Electronics in Curepe latest discovery is Carol Martinez and her 17-member steelband ASDASO (Arima Seventh-Day Adventist Steel Orchestra). Their concert CD, entitled Echoes of Praise was produced by Sanch Recording Studios and arranged by Nervine Saunders.
Tenor bass player, Carol Martinez has been with ASDASO for two years. The four-year-old band came about because of the need for a permanent steel orchestra to play sacred music.
They are part of the Gospel Ministry of the Arima SDA Church. The oldest member of the band is 55. The two youngest are 13 (one of which is Martinez's son). Hooking up with Sanch, Martiniez says, was destined.
"I heard through a friend that Sandiford was a producer and we wanted to find out how much it would cost to do a CD. What really got him excited was when he saw that Nervin Saunders was our arranger."
As most may know, Sanch and Saunders (known as "Teach") have worked together in the past on previous steelband projects, when the latter was in Simple Song steel orchestra. He has more that 30 years experience in arranging for both secular and religious steelbands. "Maybe it was destined from the beginning," says Sandiford, "But from the time I see `Teach' in the mix, I had to jump in. Plus, they can really play."
Obviously their thrice-weekly, two- hour practice sessions have paid off.
"When it came to funding, between the church, myself and God, we worked it out. We gave them a price they could afford.
Carol Martinez is also the secretary/treasurer of the band's Management Committee, not to mention her skills as the self-proclaimed "Woman on the Bass" for the group.
"Our band is what you'd call up-and-coming, since we're fairly new, but people have heard of us," Martinez added: "We've always wanted to do this and now, thank God, we're finally able. Listening to ourselves on CD was such and amazing feeling... we're definitely going to do this again in the future, once Sanch is the man on board."
The 14 religious tracks include standards like "Joyful, Joyful", "The Lord's Prayer", "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art". "The reason we didn't do any contemporary Christian tunes was because the songs we chose are over 50 years old; they belong to everybody," says Martinez laughing. "You see, no copyright!"
At present, radio 94FM is negotiating with ASDASO to do an exclusive interview and CD promotion. "That's the main reason why we haven't released it on the air just yet," Sandiford says. "We want to give them the first shot at it."
The CD is available in most record outlets throughout Trinidad and Tobago and retails for $100. From next week copies can be purchased at the Adventist Book Centre in Dean Street, St Augustine. "This is music you can definitely relax to," says Martinez. Sandiford definitely agrees.
Also on Sanch agenda... Sanch Recordings is busy this year. "Asdaso and Ainsworth Mohammed are just two of a series of interesting projects we have coming up," Sandiford says. They aren't bringing out any new Christmas CD's because "we have stuff for Christmas... everything is straight into Carnival these days". But, favourites from All Stars, Renegades and the Marionettes can be found. A compilation CD called From Tabanca to Rain is the latest to look out for.
"What we did is take most of the pan favourites from 1986 to now and put all together. The `Tabanca' comes from the Mighty Trini's "Curry Tabanca". There's also "Earthquake", "Heavy Roller"... quite a few you'll recognise."
Also, Sanch has a calendar coming out for 2002, based on the CD cover artwork done by artist Ken Scott.
"It's called: "Pan in Art" and was mainly done to help build an awareness of the pan itself," Sandiford explained. "Scotiabank is a heavy investor in the project as well. There are going to be two versions of the calendar, one for local consumers and the other will be a commercial version costing $5 US."
This will be launched on November 5 in (where else?) the nostalgic "Hell Yard".
"Quite appropriate, don't you think?" Sandiford says, matter of factly. "I can't think of a better place to launch a pan calendar."
Gospel on steel ó why not? ASDASO offers 14 competently-performed renderings of sacred and religious standards, including Joyful, Joyful (Ode to Joy), Amazing Grace, the Hallelujah Chorus, and How Great Thou Art. A nice addition to the music library of any Christian pan fan, this recording could also provide good background for a wedding. (GP/Caribbean Beat)
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