The sophomore release from Our Boys
, a steel band ensemble living at the time in San Francisco (though hailing from Trinidad). Nearly all of the compositions played on the album were penned by Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, one of the Big Five steel band composers (incidentally, another of the Big Five, Ray Holman
, also has a composition played on the album). Sharpe's music works well for the relatively small ensemble (under 20 members, which is small for a steel band). The main draw of this album, though, would have to be the recording quality. Capturing steel band music effectively on recordings is notoriously difficult given the size of the endeavors and the ringing of the steel drums. Mango has managed to use a studio large enough and with the right acoustics to make the sound vaguely similar to a steel band concert (minus the dancing/screaming audience). This is an incredibly good thing for the genre, as studios generally either have to cut down to an extremely small ensemble or else record outdoors, which introduces a whole new level of ambient noise to the albums. Clarity is the key to this album, and, with that added, one can appreciate more fully the virtuosity of the interlocking parts in a steel band ensemble, as well as individual virtuosity displays within the music. The Delos Caribbean Carnival Series is perhaps much more expansive in its breadth and provides much longer tracks (more representative of the norm in performance), but, for a single group album, this one is remarkable.