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Dwight Pinkney made waves in Toronto

BASIL WALTERS, Observer staff reporter
Thursday, August 15, 2002


Dwight Pinkney

FOLLOWING a masterful performance at Toronto's Flava nightclub, guitarist, composer, arranger and singer Dwight Pinkney has already been rebooked for a follow-up performance at the trendy nightspot.

Octobert 26 is the date set for Pinkney, or Brother Dee as he is known to many, to return to the new and beautiful Flava nightclub in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada, for a gig organised by promotion company Eagle Force Entertainment Inc.

From all reports, one can rest assured that the dynamic instrumentalist has broadened his fan base significantly in that country, and the word making the rounds are that many more doors are expected to be opened for him.

Pinkney's show was such a hit with the audience that many left saying that it was the best they had ever seen in a long while.

Opening for the Pinkney were Carol Brown, widow of the late great organist, Jackie Mittoo; Merlyn Brooks and saxophonist, Karl "Cannonball" Bryant. They all, it is understood, gave good accounts of themselves.

But when Pinkney took the stage with his very tight four-piece band which included his co-producer and bassist, Keith Francis, the already warm vibes in the club shot up to fever pitch. The band members, like Bryant, were Toronto-based Jamaicans, as also are Carol Brown, Merlyn Brooks and Fred Crossley, who were background singers. Crossley was the vocalist for Pinkney's 1968 group, The Sharks.

The unassuming musical maestro went through hit after hit, with the audience and background singers sharing in the vocal refrains, making the event, at times, become one big sing-a-long, dance-a-long session.

From his first rendition, the gem of a song he wrote for The Sharks 34 years ago, How Could I Live, made popular by the late Dennis Brown, to his last number, Bob Andy's timeless I've Got to Go Back Home, Pinkney had the fans under his awesome spell.

So much so, they would not let him go. They screamed for an encore which had Pinkney returning to deliver some more of his hits, including Ain't That Loving You, Night Nurse and the song of the century, One Love.

Dwight Pinkney's career is now enjoying greater momentum since the May release of his latest CD, More Jamaican Memories +. It is from this set, which recently hit the number four spot on the New York album charts, that most of the tunes he performed were taken.

"It was like a CD launch, More Jamaican Memories + which was very successful. The response was very stimulating and inspiring as it actually propelled (me) to getting down in the music. Y'know when you make that connection with the audience -- it was very nice, man," enthused Pinkney, who says he has plans to hit the road on a more regular basis.