The Wall Street Journal
Leisure & Arts
By Julie Salamon

You may not know that Lord Kitchener is the king of calypso, but you will after seeing One Hand Don't Clap, a cheerful documentary about the history of calypso music.

The foreigner might like to hear it, but he can't get with it because when he was born he was born in 4/4, instead of the ping-pong rhythm of calypso, explains Lord Kitchener, who at 70-plus is something like the Frank Sinatra of Trinidad.

Director Kavery Dutta cuts from club performances by Lord Kitchener and other calypso greats, including the grandly exuberant and grand-sized Calypso Rose, to preparations for the Mardi Gras carnival in Trinidad, to historical footage on calypso. Besides great entertainment, this film offers information about a world in which calypsonians --- once considered lower-class minstrels --- are treated like rock stars, in a low-key Caribbean way. You will learn for example, that while in the U.S. people may associate calypso with Harry Belafonte, aficionados do not regard him as a true calypsonian. One Hand Don't Clap delivers all this, in a delighful rhythm that is all its own.