205

Etienne Charles: Kaiso

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Etienne Charles: Kaiso The names Aldwyn Roberts and Slinger Francisco might not ring a bell in jazz circles, but trumpeter Etienne Charles' Kaiso helps to rectify that issue. Charles pays tribute to these two giants of calypso music, better known respectively as Lord Kitchener and Mighty Sparrow, and explores the fusion of Caribbean music, Latin rhythms, the sounds of New Orleans, and modern jazz, throughout this ambitious program of music.

While Charles may be guilty of trying to cover too much ground on Kaiso, that also happens to be one of the album's greatest draws. Charles creates a template of sorts during the first five tracks, with short, catchy, harmonized horn riffs serving as the entrance point to energetic solo territory, only to abandon this direction in favor of greater variety during the latter half of the album.

Mighty Sparrow's "Teresa"" marks the turning point, where multiple musical personalities begin to present themselves. The sudden presence of an orchestra, delivering a romantic introduction before Charles takes control and steers the music into a pseudo-Brazilian direction, comes as a shock after five lively small group numbers, and the surprises keep coming. "Kitch's Bebop Of Calypso" brings Lord Superior onboard to sing and play guitar, as Charles' muted trumpet channels the icons of bop that Superior name checks in the song. A second orchestral take on Sparrow's music arrives in the form of "Rose." While this number takes a little while to settle in, as the music begins in a mournful state, takes a noir-ish turn, and then paints a pastoral picture, it eventually gets to a perky place where fluttery flute, delicate, yet propulsive, percussion and charming trumpet all find a place to shine. Superior comes back for seconds, on Kitchener's "My Landlady," and this proves to be the better of his two performances.

Guest pianist Monty Alexander is impressive, as always, during all of his four appearances, but the pas de deux he shares with Charles ("Margie") is the standout. When Charles finally arrives at his last stop—Kitchener's "Sugar Bum Bum"—he puts his calypso cards back on the table and the band signs off with some excitable soca.

Calypso jazz has come a long way since Sonny Rollins set the world ablaze with "St. Thomas," and, with musicians as talented and well-versed as Charles leading the calypso charge, it will likely continue to evolve and flourish for years to come.


Track Listing: Kaiso; J'ouvert Barrio; Russian Satellite; Congo Bara; Ten To One Is Murder; Teresa; Kitch's Bebop Of Calypso; Rose; My Landlady; Margie; Sugar Bum Bum.

Personnel: Etienne Charles: trumpet, flugelhorn, cuatro, percussion, vocals; Brian Hogans: alto saxophone, piano (6), vocals; Jacques Schwartz-Bart: tenor saxophone, vocals; Sullivan Fortner: piano, vocals; Ben Williams: bass, vocals; Obed Calvaire: drums, vocals; 3 Canal: vocals (2); Monty Alexander: piano (5, 7, 9, 10); Ralph MacDonald: percussion (6-8, 11); Lord Superior: vocals (7, 9), guitar (7, 9).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Culture Shock Music | Style: Latin/World


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

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 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 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 "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" CD/LP/Track Review Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Pineapples and Ashtrays" CD/LP/Track Review Pineapples and Ashtrays
by James Nadal
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Checkpoint" CD/LP/Track Review Checkpoint
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 16, 2016
Read "Harmonicus Rex" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonicus Rex
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 21, 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!