Fringe Music

Arturo Tappin: Don’t Stop the Carnival

The Outhouse

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four stars

Antonio Forcione and Sarah Jane Morris

Assembly Rooms

three stars

Fairich: Live

Scottish Storytelling Centre

three stars

Rob Adams

ARTURO Tappin welcomes us to Barbados and if anyone can bring Caribbean sunshine to a loft space above a Broughton Street Lane bar at 10:00pm in August, it’s Tappin. The saxophonist who found himself playing in Roberta Flack’s band, after the singer heard him in a waterfront club while she was visiting his homeland, is in unashamed crowd-pleasing mode on this, his fourth visit to the Outhouse.

Tunes associated with Ed Sheeran, Gerry Rafferty and Acker Bilk all feature as Tappin tries to provide something everyone knows. Truth be told, though, superbly played as his readings of Baker Street and Stranger on the Shore are, the latter using his 110 year old clarinet, he could probably make his audience just as happy with the natural groove and expressive improvising he brings to items from the jazz canon, such as his rather marvellous take on Sonny Rollins’ calypso-flavoured Coconut Bread.

Working with a band of Bajans, comprising locally based drummer David Carnegie, bassist Marius Charlemagne and keyboardist Marc Andre Daniel, Tappin often evokes the spirit of Rollins and also calls to mind the late Grover Washington Jnr in making Just the Way You Are a genuinely communicative soul-jazz ballad. And like Washington, he can play the smooth jazz card while having jazz chops to spare in reserve.

Run ends August 27.

GUITAR-vocal team Antonio Forcione and Sarah Jane Morris can’t be accused of underselling their repertoire in their late evening ballads, blues and groove session. Over their allotted hour Morris emotes and gets physically involved in songs of love, lust and political engagement while Forcione’s every harmonic and percussive dink – and he delivers quite a few on two beautiful-sounding guitars – is accompanied by its own facial expression.

They make a good partnership, with Forcione providing a one-man rhythm section and at one point amusingly trading phrases with a silent, invisible drummer, and as well as original songs they deliver enjoyable and sometimes cleverly disguised interpretations of Stevie Wonder, The Police and Bob Dylan numbers.

Run ends August 27.

FAIRICH is the recently released debut album by Whyte, the duo formed by Gaelic singer Alasdair Whyte and electronica musician-composer Ross Whyte, and their performance at the Storytelling Centre features the disc in its entirety with accompanying images by visual artist Dan Shay.

It’s an atmospheric work as a whole. Alasdair Whyte sings in an attractive crooner’s style and his namesake’s keyboard patterns, percussive loops and soundscapes couch these often dark songs, mostly drawn from the 17th and 18th centuries, in sympathetic settings. The singer’s guitar offers an added texture on the fateful The Black Oaken Boat and there’s a powerful moment when he becomes part of the visuals as he introduces more of an edge to his singing of the affecting lament, Cumha Ni Mhic Raghnaill.

Run ends August 28.