Edinburgh Festival Fringe music review: Arturo Tappin: Caribbean Clipper, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jim Gilchrist.
From under that bunnet and those ankle-length dreads, Barbadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin exudes sunshine but can also exercise considerable muscle in his zesty tenor sax playing, although it wasn’t just the liberally scattered holiday brochures that suggested the show might have been underwritten by the Barbadian tourist board. A largely relaxed vibe prevailed, as generated by the easeful calypso sway of Welcome to Barbados and later, with the saxophonist joined by singer Rosemary Philips, the similarly mellow Barbados My Island of Dreams.
Accompanied by a tight three-piece of electric double bass, keyboard and drums, Tappin made occasional excursions on full-toned flute and soprano sax and included some undoubted crowd-pleasers such as What A Wonderful World and an energetic rendition of the classic Take Five, his band shifting energetically alongside, while he really let rip on the indelible sax riff from Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street.
He didn’t really cut loose, but the closing Breaking Up gave a hint of wider possibilities as his sax solo developed from bouncy reggae jazz into something more powerfully acerbic.
Outhouse (Venue 99) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 26 August 2015
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