CD Reviews
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Steel Drum Minus 1 Play-Along

REVIEW

Steel Drum Minus 1 Play-Along, arranged by and compiled by Jeff Moore, is book/CD set that includes traditional calypso and pop classics with "virtual" steel band backing tracks and treble clef lead sheets for any melodic instrument.

Titles: ABBA Medley * Limbo & Marianne * Cheeseburger in Paradise * I Can See Clearly Now * Jamaica Farewell * Loco Man * Yellow Bird.

Rated with a grade level of 2-5 (Medium Easy to Difficult), these seven tunes are excellent for casual solo performances. Although meant for steel drum, the percussionist could easily perform these pieces on vibraphone or marimba and still sound nice with the steel drum band accompaniment. Honestly, any melodic instrument could make use of these arrangements and play-along, even though the "sound" might not be an authentic representation of this type of ensemble.

Alfred Music Publishing did a fine job with the book layout. The notation is clean and easy to read, plus all of the arrangements are ordered so that there are no page turns if reading the notation while performing — the exception being the last arrangement, the ABBA Medley, which is three pages.

I was a little disappointed to see that they lead sheets did not include jazz chord symbols, allowing the performer the opportunity to freely solo or embellish the melody should they choose or desire to do so.

Retailing for $14.99, Steel Drum Minus 1 Play-Along is a worthwhile investment for any educator or student, especially those looking to expand their for performance and/or play-along materials.