Tag Archives: Mario Caribe

Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2017: Ryan Quigley Quintet

Ryan Quigley Quintet Plays Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, Rose Theatre *****
Sunday afternoon’s concert by the Ryan Quigley Quintet could not have been better timed. By the closing weekend of the festival, jazz lag is inevitable – and the depressing weather didn’t exactly make venturing out to a gig seem like an appealing prospect. However, the music of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, played by the dynamic band headed by trumpeter Ryan Quigley, proved to be the perfect antidote; just what was required to blast the cobwebs away. 
For 90 minutes, this terrific quintet powered through the bebop repertoire, barely pausing for breath between numbers or coming up for air from their energetic solos. This was thrilling, edge-of-your-seat stuff – not least because of the excitement generated by the combination of Quigley and alto saxophonist Soweto Kinch in the front line, playing together for the first time in a decade and clearly getting a kick out of doing so. 
Even the ballads were energetic. Introducing All The Things You Are after telling the crowd that the opener, Dizzy Atmosphere, had perhaps been too fast, the wry Quigley promised to slow things down – only to produce a ballad so exciting that it induced whoops from the audience midway through. 
It wasn’t just the hot, fiery and flamboyant horn playing of Quigley and Kinch that worked the crowd into a frenzy in this rafters-raising concert; the rhythm section – Alan Benzie (piano), Mario Caribe (bass) and Alyn Cosker (drums) was superb as well; Benzie in particular making an impression with his dazzlingly inventive, witty and sophisticated soloing. In all, the ideal high note with which to end the festival.
* First published in The Herald on Tuesday July 25th

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Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2017: Carol Kidd Sings the Music of Judy Garland

Carol Kidd Sings the Music of Judy Garland, George Square Spiegeltent, Edinburgh ***
If there has been one consistent talking point through this year’s Edinburgh Jazz Festival it has been frustration with its Easyjet method of boarding – making audiences for the tents queue outside; only to be allowed into the venue at the time that the concert is scheduled to start.
At Thursday’s Carol Kidd concert, one which was always likely to draw a high proportion of golden oldie ticket holders, observers braced themselves for fisticuffs as a bunch of stick-wielding geriatrics sprang unexpectedly from benches in George Square Gardens and formed a Saga-style stampede into the venue ahead of the punters who had been waiting in the mile-long queue. 
Kidd herself referred to the problems of age during an enjoyable 90 minutes in which she evoked the spirit of Ella Fitzgerald by gamely improvising the lyrics she had forgotten, but the main challenge she faced was on ballads – normally her strongest suit. The problem was that her band – pianist Paul Harrison and bassist Mario Caribe – didn’t provide enough colour, depth or texture behind her as she sang such beautiful ballads as The Man Who Got Away. 
Kidd has sung Gershwin’s Do It Again in a slowed-down, seductive and suggestive style before and it has been magic, but on Thursday, there was so little going on behind the long, not very varied, notes of the melody that it began to seem funereal rather than sexy. Even her musical Meg Ryan moment on the “oh-oh-oh” failed to relight the fire …
* First published in The Scotsman on Saturday July 22nd

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Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2013: Champian Fulton Trio

Champian Fulton Trio, Palazzo Spiegeltent, Edinburgh, Sunday July 28th ****

Well. Just as those of us who have soldiered through the whole jazz festival were suffering from a final wave of jazz lag, along came the young American pianist and singer Champian Fulton. And if there was a way to end the festival in style – and with hitherto flagging spirits revived – her uplifting concert at the Spiegeltent last night was it.

Comparisons to Diana Krall are clearly misguided. Where Krall has always been sultry and looked sullen while putting over her material, Fulton is cheery and positively beamed through all her songs last night, flashing an infectious smile at all sections of the audience as she swivelled herself around on her piano stool. With a beautiful, clear, sweet and commanding voice and simple yet affecting delivery, she was a delight on every song – from such happy-go-lucky numbers as I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter to a superb blues, It’s Too Late Baby, which demonstrated that she has real presence and underlined the influence of Dinah Washington on her singing style.

Other highlights included a wonderful Tea for Two which boasted an elegant duet with bass player Mario Caribe, and a lovely, lesser-known Eubie Blake/Andy Razaf ballad I’d Give a Dollar for a Dime, which featured a Fulton piano solo rich in Erroll Garner touches, a recurring theme on every tune and one which almost distracted from how accomplished she is as a swinging, dynamic instrumentalist.

* First published in The Scotsman on Monday July 29th

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Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2012: Brian Molley & Mario Caribe Brazilian Quartet

Brian Molley & Mario Caribe’s Brazilian Quartet, Salon Elegance, Saturday July 28th ***

Taking refuge in a tent where warm, Brazilian music was on the bill was the only sensible option in the early part of Saturday evening, when a monsoon was raging over Edinburgh. The unpredictable and often downright abysmal weather has played a significant part in this year’s jazz festival experience: whereas during the glorious sunshine of last year’s event, the George Square Gardens was a bustling hub last year, where you could meet and mingle, this year, spending any time there has been a calculated risk.

So it was an appreciative – if soggy – crowd which settled down for the music of Brian Molley and Mario Caribe’s Brazilian Quartet. Saxophonist Molley and bassist Caribe are well known on the Scottish music, but the other half of the band comprised two of Caribe’s fellow Brazilians, Fabio Torres (piano) and Edu Ribiero (drums), flown in from Sao Paolo for this project which featured almost exclusively original compositions.

These musicians may not be regular collaborators but they made up a tight unit, and are clearly of a similar state of musical mind. The numbers played may have been penned by different members of the band but there was a flow to the programme of the concert because of the stylistic similarities.

What seemed to be missing, unfortunately, was the classic Brazilian jazz vibe – the way in which the great Stan Getz recordings of the 1960s delivered the balmy bossa or sultry samba feel with a breezy coolness. This was less warm, but very dry – and a bit too repetitive. Which is perhaps why, once the rain eased up outside, there was something of a minor exodus from the concert…

First published in The Herald, Monday July 30th

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