BY LEIGH-ANN WORRELL | THU, JANUARY 23, 2014 - 12:04 AM
Undoubtedly an outstanding musician, Arturo Tappin was an electrifying force last Sunday afternoon, turning the Sea Rocks Dome at the Barbados Beach Club into a heated pop/soca/reggae-dancehall-fuelled dance floor.
It was a bit of a U-turn from what was usually expected during the Naniki Jazz Safari, but the large crowd surely enjoyed the hour-long ride.
The saxy musician, who also showed off his singing ability, was joined by Melvin Alick on drums, Kirk Layne on keys, bass guitarist and birthday boy Marius Charlemagne, percussionist David Morgan and Terry Mexican Arthur on pan.
The ensemble began with the stealth of a Smooth Criminal, steadily building the tempo as the journey continued. Tappin blew away audience members of all ages as he moved seamlessly from yesteryear with hits likeBetcha By Golly Wow, Sugarhill Gang’s Jump On It and Boogie Wonderland, to 2013 smash hit Blurred Lines, Popcaan’s Only Man She Want and Rihanna’s What Now.
A few of the superstar’s recent numbers preceded a tribute to Bajan artistes Lil Rick and Alison Hinds.
The band also weaved its way into the crowd, the dancing throng taking the chance to snap pictures and soak in the positive vibrations.
The band ended with Tappin’s classic Breaking Up – but not before the musician wowed the audience with a freestyle flow, heavily influenced by the world’s best classical musicians.
Arturo’s group was preceded by the just as impressive Alternative Quartet out of Trinidad and Tobago.
First-time performers in Barbados, the eight-year-old group certainly returned home with a stronger fan base.
Although pop tracks were included in the set, it was the fusion of soca and jazz on strings that won hearts and minds. Alternative Quartet’s take on Differentology was both complex and captivating, as was original piece Ghost. The group deserved the standing ovation and the vociferous encore call at the end of its hour on stage.
The sun set on the evening of music with traditional jazz notes from Tia Fuller and band. The musician with reigning R&B queen Beyoncé began with Ralphie’s Groove and continued to please with a special song for the island titled Descend To Barbados.
New-York based jazz singer Cynthia Holiday paved the way in fine style.