Jazz Nu, March 2000

Armando Cairo Quartet Tenor Brutality Cairo Records

Twenty years ago painter Armando Cairo started playing tenor-saxophone because he loved jazz and to chase away his loneliness. That is one of the characteristics the tenor-saxophonist. Eddie Lockjaw Davis discovered the same, forty years earlier.

Tenor-saxophonists are also the ones who attract all the beautiful women. Looking at the inlay photograph of Tenor Brutality, Armando Cairo reached this goal; he is surrounded by ten women in exciting dresses (one of them unrecognizably the ever young Saskia Laroo). Armando Cairo stands in front of them, taking all the adoration for granted.

Amongst his favorites are heavy tenors like Sonny Rollins and Gene Ammons. The force of his macho-sound is so strong, it somewhat inhibits his movements. It looks like he trailing behind the rhythm-section. But he is at his best ith the support of some handy themes and an understanding rhythm-section. On this record – that sounds a lot less brutal than the title suggests, that indeed is the case. The repertoire varies from comfortable own work to Monk’s acrobatic “Tour in one”.

The tempi are not initiated too fast by the trio, consisting of American bop-veteran Becton, the always impeccably accompanying pianist Whitmer and finally Barkman: a former multi-instrumentalist, who – to every ones satisfaction – has found his destination onm bass.
To quote critic Richard Palmer: “The right record to play when you’ve had enough og ‘muesli-jazz’ and fancy a bit of honest protein”.

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