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R y a n J . F i n n
C a l y p s o a l a B u s t e r
Calypso ala Buster is a unique collection of Finn originals and Caribbean Folk Songs. The stylistic use of calypso, ska, salsa, bolero, and even New Orleans second line, give this recording a characteristic sound.
It opens with a St. Lucia folk song composed by Charles Cadet entitled Estephan. The drums start a characteristically Caribbean call and response and the melody is picked up by the trombone. The keyboard lines accompanying the melody draw on a deep folk style, making use of contrasting arpeggios.
Slip Up brings in the horn section (Russell Scharf - tpt, William Finn - a sax) and introduces Ryan as a composer. This is a simple calypso form with the melody sung by the trombone.
The title track, Calypso ala Buster, takes us into a darker mood of calypso and sends us into a montuno section which features Andy Zadrozny on bass and Johnny Finn on congas.
The album’s slow piece, Flor de Azalea, is reminiscent of the voluptuous melodies of old and sits perfectly in this bolero feel. Johnny adds the perfect bongo color.
Mixing the New Orleans feel and the St. Lucia rhythm, Ryan is able to create an up-beat, fun, encounter with Wash en Glo. This is a folk song sung by children all over the island of St. Lucia and the bass solo in the middle gives it a nice touch of curiosity.
Little Monster is considered by Ryan to be his composition of the year. It draws from the energy of his young children and moves through the different themes fluidly and coherently. Robin adds a great touch on the piano solo headed home.
The album closes with the groove-tune, Jive Cat. This one takes a little ska and reggae and mixes it with a 70’s funk bass-line. The horns’ looseness adds to the groovy character of the piece.