The Dominican Influence

Ushawishi

Registered User
On caribbean music from de imix archives....

Then...












pdf link
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This is Sokah/socah...
<object width="350" height="135"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.islandmix.com/flash/mp3player_single.swf?userid=11934&songid=4945&path=http://www.islandmix.com/"> </param> <param name="wmode" value="transparent"> </param> <embed src="http://www.islandmix.com/flash/mp3player_single.swf?userid=11934&songid=4945&path=http://www.islandmix.com/" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="350" height="135"> </embed> </object><div style='float:left;'><a rel='nofollow' href='http://www.islandmix.com/avroom/songdetails.php?audioId=4945' style='text-decoration:none;cursor:pointer;'>Vibrations Groove - Lord Shorty</a></div>

This is not...
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Gordon Henderson
by Mc. Carthy Marie
Extracted from: Dominica's Arts & Culture Magazine, Division of Cutlure, 1994




Zouk, Cadence-lypso, Soca. All these are musical forms in the present day Caribbean musical scene with which we are all familiar. Unfortunately, we are not all familiar with the person who has done more than any other individual to bring these forms into prominence -- GORDON HENDERSON.

Gordon was born in Portsmouth some forty-three years or so ago and attended the St. John's government School there. In the early sixties there was no secondary schools outside of Roseau and so Gordon, like most of us, had to journey to Roseau to the St. Mary's Academy to his secondary schooling.

It was at St. Mary's Academy that Gordon began to show musical aptitude, first in the glee club (school choir) and then in various small bands with other school mates like Randy Aaron, Julie Martin and Anison Rabess. Gordon at that time played guitar and sang. Those of us old enough will remember the many talent shows at St. Gerard's hall where groups like the Gaylords made their debut. Gordon was a regular performer at these events. Because of the great popularity of American soul musicians at the time such as James Brown, Wilson Picket, Otis Redding, Etta James etc, imitation of soul singers was greatly in vogue and Gordon was one of the better exponents of local soul.

Towards the middle to the late sixties, local calypso was gaining in popularity and Gordon, still at school, threw his hat into he ring under the name "MIGHT BEE". Yes folks, Gordon was indeed a calypsonian! Though Gordon never won the competition, he managed to inject into the calypso a measure of maturity that took it beyond the level of trite rhymes on 'bacchanal, carnival, festival, wine and grind'. By this time of course, Gordon had moved seriously into song-writing and arranging, and he had also begun to play keyboards.

Having successfully completed his schooling at St. Mary's Academy, Gordon got a job as an insurance salesman and settled down to take his music seriously. He organised a band "VOLTAGE 4" with the following line-up: Gordon Henderson on Keyboards and Vocals; Chris Francis on Guitar and Vocals; Randy Aaron on Drums and Anison Rabess on Bass Guitar. In no time at all they became the most popular band on the island. Gordon sang most of the Caribbean style songs while Chris Francis was the soul-man though Gordon also sang some ballads. It was in Voltage 4 that his break came he was astute enough to seize it.

In 1970 an offer came to do a short tour in Martinique. While some members of the group hesitated about taking up that venture for fear of the unknown, not to mention concerns about their day jobs, Gordon had no hesitation deciding to go. Eventually on this tour, Julie Martin replaced Chris Francis on Guitar. The tour was deemed a success and whetted Gordon's appetite for more of the star treatment they had received in Martinique.

Towards the end of the same year another offer came, this time to do a long series of engagements as the house band for a Club in Guadeloupe. The offer was immediately accepted which necessitated the band quitting their day jobs. By this time Oliver Cruickshank had replaced Randy Aaron on drums after Randy had suffered serious injury in a car accident. This foray was quite successful and VOLTAGE 4 stayed in Guadeloupe for a little more than a year after which the band returned to Dominica.

Gordon however had recognized that there was a gaping need in Guadeloupe for a band that could deliver not only the usual dance music, but could couple this with a good stage performance and performance was his forte. He therefore returned to Guadeloupe on his own since he was unable to convince the other members of the band that they could risk going to Guadeloupe without firm contracts. On his arrival in Guadeloupe he teamed up with LES VIKINGS as lead singer. The leader of LES VIKINGS was PIERRE EDOUARD DECIMUS who would eventually form KASSAV. With Gordon at the from LES VIKINGS rapidly established their dominance in Guadeloupe, and the band eventually made a tour of Dominica.

Although LES VIKINGS was at the top of the heap in Guadeloupe, Gordon still felt that the band did not deliver what he wanted - solid rock and soul convert type performances. He felt that if he had a group of Dominicans who were more in tune with concert performances as was popular in St. Gerard's Hall in the sixties that they could tear the place open! On his tour to Dominica with LES VIKINGS he therefore took the opportunity to discuss the idea of a band with several Dominican musicians: Kremlin Fingal, Oliver Cruickshank, Julie Mourillon, Vivian Wallace and Fitzroy Williams who were to form the band that revolutionized Caribbean music in the seventies and whose influence is felt till now.

When the band got to Guadeloupe they played calypsos and American style ballads which had a fair amount of success. Gordon realized that it was not exactly a brilliant idea to sing entirely a language that his audience had difficulty understanding and he therefore resolved to write more creole songs in essentially a calypso style, but more up-tempo, with more drive and swing. He christened the music Cadence-lypso, a marketing device designed to distinguish what EXILE ONE played from the Haitian cadence Rampa which was the dominant variety of creole popular music in the French West Indies at the time.

Gordon also rapidly realized that the needed to learn about the business of music and how to operate with he media. One of the first things he did was to learn to read, write and speak French properly for it was essential to be a French speaker as opposed to creole to be invited on the radio or TV. This wa around 1973/74 and his assault, with the aid of his Producer Henri DEBS was so successful that in no time the public in Martinique and Guadeloupe abandoned Haitian music in favour of Dominican music with record producers and concert promoters falling over each other to sign up Dominican bands. This gave rise to Grammacks, Liquid Ice and others. In the meantime EXILE ONE had moved to Paris and was signed to Barclay Records, the first West Indian Group performing in CREOLE to be signed by a major record company.

The reaction of Haitian musicians to the dominance of Dominican music was to revitalize their style, copy Exile One by adding a real horn section to replace the single saxophone, coming back with COMPA in the early to mid eighties and recapturing the market.

So what of Zouk and Soca? As we all know or should know by now, in the mid-seventies all the practitioners of calypso in Trinidad had concluded that calypso, as it was then, was stagnant and moribund and they were all searching for new ideas to revitalize its commercial appeal. Luckily for Lord Shorty, he made a tour to Dominica at the same time as EXILE ONE were making one of their rare appearances here. He realized immediately that he could introduce this new and exciting music to Trinidad with a new name. He had some people here write him some lyrics in creole and he launched a song called "I PETIT" and announced that he had discovered a new beat, Soul Calypso (SOCA for short). This was of course more or less a badly played Cadence-Lypso. The Soca idea caught on in Trinidad and developed its own style as we know it today. As for Zouk, the founder of Kassav, PIERRE EDOUARD DECIMUS always maintains that what his band plays is nothing new, just that same old Cadence-lypso married to the very highest recording technology.
 

Ushawishi

Registered User
International Artists ....

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One of the greatest to ever represent the caribbean... Superbowl half time show dats like "mainstream" biggest show if i am right not sure...

One Love Jeff Joseph ... we care so much about mainstream and making it yet people dat did doh even take dat as nothing...

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Not even a sticky on de number 1 caribbean site ..... de whole world recognizes de greatness of revolutionary music...

"We would learn from our mistakes if we weren't so busy denying them" - Raspek.

Reggae - International
Kompa - International
Zouk - International
Cadence-lypso - International
 

Ushawishi

Registered User
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Plenty music I listening to I does feel de same way King.
 

Ushawishi

Registered User
Love Midnight Groovers!
RIP to Jeff Joseph the Caribbean really lost a great icon. Great music.
Give thanks king ...

RSB - Roots Stems and Branches doing a cover live in london...

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Socapro

Repect Our Soca Pioneers
This is Sokah/socah...
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This is not...
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"E-Pete" was a one off cadence-lypso from Shorty documenting his trip to Dominica and reflecting the musical influence which he encountered while he was there.
Shorty had already developed and demonstrated the Soca beat in his music before going to Dominica, like in this song recorded before his Dominican trip in 1974.

Endless Vibrations Lord Shorty 1974:
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Regards "Vibrations Groove" the musical influence that led to Shorty developing the Sokah/Soca beat that he demonstrates in that song comes from here after removal of the Indian instruments and transferring the rhythm to the conventional drum-kit!

Kalo Gee (Bull Bull) Lord Shorty 1973/4 (taken off his Loveman album):
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Shanti Om (Spiritual Chutney Soca Lord Shorty 1978 from LP Soca Explosion):
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Now let us remove the Indian instruments all together and play the same rhythmic pattern on the drum kit and other conventional instruments fused with traditional calypso rhythms in the background and there you have it SOCA!

Soca Fever (Lord Shorty 1978 from LP Soca Explosion):
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Even though the Soca beat is similar it is still different from the Cadence beat.

However both beats can still be fused into the same Soca song to give us something beautiful as Ed Watson demonstrates here in these two soca instrumentals:

Ed Watson & His Brass Circle - Wooy Midebar (1977 from LP This Is Music):
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Ed Watson & His Brass Circle - Lovie Dovie (1977 from LP This Is Music):
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Ushawishi

Registered User
There is a strong cadence influence in many early soca tracks most definitely but that was more down to Ed Watson than to Shorty as Ed Watson was a big fan of Cadence, Compa, Latin and African music!! Ed Watson did a lot of music research and introduced a lot of other musical influences into his soca music and arrangements!

Here is a typical Ed Watson soca arrangement with a cadence flavour:
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And here is Ed Watson's cadence-lypso arrangement of Shorty's "E Peter":
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Note that Ed Watson was the arranger of Shorty's "E Pete" also found on his 1976 "Sweet Music" album and had a major hand in how that final track sounded, in fact just as much influence as Shorty who also provide the lyrics and some of the musical ideas for that song! Ed Watson and Shorty were the perfect Soca marriage and it’s a pity they fell out and didn’t do more tracks together after Shorty’s 1976 “Sweet Music” album!

Respeck!
Care to tell more about the dominican influence?

Socapro I looking for de tracks shorty did in 1969 with Lord Tokyo and others from Dominica ... if you can post those would be much appreciated thanks.
 

Socapro

Repect Our Soca Pioneers
Here is a cadence flavour soca track from Explainer in 1980; Arrangement is by top steelband arranger Godwin Bowen, same guy who arranged "Stay Giving Praises" for Black Stalin and Ella Andall.

Explainer - More You Look, Less You See (1980):
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Here are two more Ed Watson tracks with a cadence flavour!
There are others not on YouTube or the Net.

Ed Watson - Soca Baby (1981):
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Ed Watson - Dat Is Soca (1982):
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A variety of different musical flavours and beats have been added to soca over the years since it was first formulated by Shorty in the early 70's.
Ed Watson explains it quite well in lyrics of above track "Dat Is Soca".
 
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Ushawishi

Registered User
Gordon realized that it was not exactly a brilliant idea to sing entirely a language that his audience had difficulty understanding and he therefore resolved to write more creole songs in essentially a calypso style, but more up-tempo, with more drive and swing. He christened the music Cadence-lypso, a marketing device designed to distinguish what EXILE ONE played from the Haitian cadence Rampa which was the dominant variety of creole popular music in the French West Indies at the time.

Here is an idea....

A catchy name is a great marketing device...

Its kinda silly to think that when Midnight Groovers has been making cadence music since 1970 that it was not cadence-lypso they are talking about... that name came about in 1973 from what I gather.
 
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