Leeuwarder Courant, February 1988

Beautiful Group-sound Armando Cairo Sextet

As it showed yesterday-afternoon at the concert in De Brouwershoeck in Leeuwarden, Armando Cairo made a smart move by extending his quartet to a sextet. Next to alt- and tenor-saxophone, trombone and trumpet have their say.

With his excellent arrangements, Cairo has succeeded in creating not only a beautiful, but also a recognizable own group-sound.

Like the announcement states, the music does bring Mingus╠ famous formations in mind, especially the collective improvisations. But all in all a little less rough and down to earth. The arrangements possess a certain intellectual, ironical distance, which is obvious listening to numbers like 'Minnie Mouse' and 'Vanessa' that contain effects that would fit perfectly in a cartoon.

The pointy, fast themes like 'Armandites Acutus' and 'Full moon blues' were smartly constructed, especially rhythmic-wise, as in the slow numbers like 'Sheltered', 'Tint' (a composition of trombonist Joost Buis) and 'The telephone never rings', show a lot of attention to the total ╬color╠ of the sound.

Especially beautiful was the subtle way the soloists were supported by the other blowers. Remarkable also was the perfect finish of the arrangements. As soloists, Jeldrik Ijland and Joost Buis especially excelled. The first, rich with ideas, has a lyrical tone that sometimes brings Ornette Coleman in the early days to mind. Buis showed his inventive talent and kept his eyes on the outline of the whole.

It took Armando Cairo a while to loosen-up in his solo╠s. His somewhat dry tone could benefit from a bit more personal expression. Trumpeter Jos Driessen played his solo╠s rather unmoved, after 'The telephone never rings', he expressed somewhat more feeling.

The two-person rhythm-section had a hard time with four blowers, but performed their task in a fantastic way. Drummer Martin van Duynhoven proved his quality as the thriving companion and never boring soloist. Bassist Wilbert de Joode showed that, even more than Van Duynhoven, he is the pillar of the sextet, rhythmic-wise as well as in harmony. The excellent way he exploits his instrument was appreciated by the public, and rightly so.

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