415

Etienne Charles: Folklore

Larry Reni Thomas By

Sign in to view read count
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, Roy Hargrove, or Miles Davis, nor does he sound like fellow West Indian native, the Jamaican-born Dizzy Reece (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, D'Achee, Ray Charles and drummer Los Dorados. 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-like or John Coltrane-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.

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.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Clockwork" CD/LP/Track Review Clockwork
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "Pathways" CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by James Nadal
Published: February 29, 2016
Read "The Harry Warren Song Book" CD/LP/Track Review The Harry Warren Song Book
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Portraits and Places" CD/LP/Track Review Portraits and Places
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Routes" CD/LP/Track Review Routes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "New York Connections" CD/LP/Track Review New York Connections
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!