Album Reviews

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ETIENNE CHARLES

Kaiso

2012-02-06

Etienne Charles, a horn player originally from Trinidad, crafts calypso jazz on Kaiso, his third release. The album is a valentine to classic calypso jazz artists of old. Every song except the title track is an arrangement of a song originally recorded decades ago, with the oldest being “J’ouvert Barrio”, which was originally recorded in 1935 by Roaring Lion (Rafael de Leon). Moving through the decades, there is also “Kitch’s Bebop of Calypso”. Written by Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts) and originally recorded in 1950, it’s a Calypso tribute to Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis and one of the highlights of this release. Another highlight is “My Landlady”. Also a Lord Kitchener song, it brings to life the West Indian/UK immigration experience of the 50’s. The album makes a diverse turn from the upbeat with the tracks “Teresa”, “Rose”, and “Margie”. All of these girls are soft and sweet with orchestral accompaniment. All in all, Etienne Charles and company do justice to these calypso classics, with respectfully performed modern arrangements. Rebecca Ruth

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