Caraher - Caraher

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Higher Synthesis Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 34:30:00

Brothers Justin and Paul Caraher are collectively known as the duo Caraher. All of which makes perfect sense, there are two of them, and that's their name. What they play however makes it sound like there are more than just the two brothers. Of course when one, Justin, plays drums, guitars, keyboards, and percussion, and the other, Paul, plays guitars, bass, keyboards and percussion, you are going to get a fuller sound than just two fellas on an instrument each.

The style that results on this self-titled debut is jazz, mainly drawing on a traditional sensibility - that is, it's not smooth jazz. But then, the brothers cover tunes by, for example, Chick Corea, John Coltrane and Al DiMeola, interpersed with their own material (mainly composed by Paul). The stronger material here is that composed by others. Not that the Caraher's are bad composers, but there's a hurriedness in their performance that isn't present when interpreting any of the mentioned artists. For example, the dual acoustic guitar piece "Spanish Irish Dance" seems a little rushed, the notes clipped. When it slows down enough for the full note to sound, it is much warmer. This impatience, if you will, comes through also on "Peppy," which is a jaunty, though sparse tune. Whichever of the brothers is playing guitar on this piece seems a little clumsy in note transitions, and yet the cover tunes don't have the same... challenge, so one knows they can play. "Abakwa" a Justin penned tune, also has a bit of this hurriedness, too, but by the time the piece really gets going, settles in to itself. This expands out from jazz into the contemporary instrumental genre as well, and comes across quite good. Their best performance of their own material comes with "Counter Colors," the last track on the album. There is a bit of abstractness that made me think of King Crimson a bit, but the walking bass lines keep this fairly grounded in the jazz camp.

But, among the cover tunes, the brothers do better with the jauntier, upbeat tunes like Joe Henderson's happy and frolicksom "Isotope," and and Corea's "Captain Marvel," which has the quick note changes that their own pieces do, but here, though played briskly, each note is given its due. DiMeola's "Mediterranean Sundance" is also note-gorged piece... that provides a challenge that the pair just can't quite meet. I mean of course whichever of the two is playing lead guitar - that info isn't given.

It's an overall pleasant debut from a pair of performers that have the talent, but haven't yet translated everything they've learned from their influences into their own compositions. The should use "Counter Colors" as their guide.

Isotope (3:17) / Spanish Irish Dance (3:27) / Captain Marvel (4:49) / Abakwa (5:21) / Moment's Notice (4:40) / Peppy (2:19) / Mediterranean Sundance (4:23) / Counter Colors (7:34)

Justin Caraher - drums, guitars, keyboards, and percussion
Paul Caraher - guitars, bass, keyboards and percussion

Caraher (2002)
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Genre: Jazz/Trad. Jazz

Origin US

Added: September 22nd 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 753
Language: english


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