As Etienne Charles prepared to host his latest concert in Trinidad and Tobago, his album Carnival, the Sound of a People Vol 1, was named among the top jazz albums of 2019.
Slate.com listed his album at number five out of the ten best jazz albums of the year. Stating that 2019 has been a very good year for jazz records, writer Fred Kaplan said that the first five albums are listed in the order of what he likes best.
Of Charles’ album, he wrote: “Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles won a Guggenheim fellowship to explore the musical roots of his homeland, but this result of his research is the opposite of dry or academic: It’s a raucous party and drum-tight, a buoyant fusion of jazz, reggae, R&B, and kongo—Thelonious Monk channeled through Bob Marley, and more. Charles, still in his 20s, blows the trumpet with a gleaming verve and clarity. His skilled band revels in colorful textures.”
Carnival: The Sound of a People Vol. 1, described in a March 21 article by the New York Times as Charles’ most invigorating, is an opus that continues his penchant for the rituals of his homeland, composed after four months of travel and deep research across Trinidad and Tobago to unearth the arts of Carnival that highlight the vivid and vast elements of our culture and history.