Etienne Charles: Folklore (2009)

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Etienne Charles: Folklore
Trumpeter Etienne Charles' Folklore is a wonderful, colorful, vibrant recording filled with Caribbean flavor, Latin grooves and solid jazz arrangements and solos. A percussionist and composer as well, the 26-year-old Charles has an extremely unique trumpet sound that is his and his alone. He doesn't sound like Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
b.1961
trumpet
, Roy Hargrove
Roy Hargrove
Roy Hargrove
b.1969
trumpet
, or Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
, nor does he sound like fellow West Indian native, the Jamaican-born Dizzy Reece
Dizzy Reece
Dizzy Reece
b.1931
trumpet
(a trumpet sensation of the 1950s and 1960s and one the Caribbean's most famous jazz musicians).

Charles tends to favor a mostly bright and optimistic sound. Folklore's strongest selection, "Douens," an upbeat kaiso (calypso), establishes an infectious and memorable trumpet chorus and flows along with a beat that seems to last forever, featuring outstanding percussion work from all-stars like the Trinidadian master Ralph MacDonald

Ralph MacDonald
Ralph MacDonald
1944 - 2011
percussion
, D'Achee, Ray Charles and drummer Los Dorados
Los Dorados
Los Dorados

band/orchestra
. Based on Caribbean folklore about childlike ghostly demons that roam the earth, the tune has all the elements of a classic. Charles wrote and arranged the tune, as he did with the rest of Folklore, to musically interpret the tales he heard as a child growing up in the cultural melting pot of Trinidad.

The title cut features a fine, fluid solo from Guadeloupean saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart

, whose wails and growls on the tenor saxophone sound like a master in the making. No doubt this young hip saxophonist will be heard more in the future, with a hearty sound that possesses a Coleman Hawkins
Coleman Hawkins
Coleman Hawkins
1904 - 1969
sax, tenor
-like or John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
-like quality to it. Switching to soprano, Schwarz-Bart also does a superb job on the ballad "Mysterieuse," with a dreamy, soft approach reminiscent of Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
.

Charles' full-bodied trumpet voicings, Milan Milanovic's excellent piano playing and Luques Curtis's perfect bass line also make "Mysterieuse" a joy to hear. It's no mystery at all; it's just good, staring-out-the-window-on-a-rainy-day music. "Mama Malade," another blissful ballad, is a lush, soothing gem with a light, bouncy island beat that features Charles on flugelhorn.

Folklore is an historic recording, capturing the essence of past events in Caribbean culture and presenting it in a musical form that reflects present-day life there and in the world. The music has a universal sound, with the exception of "Santimanite," which showcases steel drum soloist and island legend Len "Boogsie" Sharpe. Folklore is Charles' noble effort to pay proper homage to his ancestors and the tales they told. It's a clear-cut case of passing it on, and will be remembered as a sign of great accomplishments to come from such a young, gifted, and very perceptive musician.

Track Listing: Folklore; Douens; Dance with la Diablesse; Laja who?; Mama Malade; Soucouyant; Mysterieuse; Mama d'lo; Santamanite; Papa Bois, Folklore (story).

Personnel: Etienne Charles: trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion, vocals, double seconds, cuatro; Jacques Schwarz-Bart: tenor and soprano saxophones; Milan Milanovic: piano; Luques Curtis": bass; Obed Calvaire: drums; Ralph MacDonald: percussion; Len "Boogsie" Sharpe: tenor pan; D'Achee: percussion; Ray Charles: percussion; Keith "Designer" Prescott: vocals; Wendell Manwarren: vocals; Roger Roberts: vocals.

Record Label: Self Produced

Style: Latin/World


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