The eponymous first track on Testaments sets the tone for the album. The frenetic energy of his earlier albums (notably Repent, More Live, and Consecration) is still here, but the songs slowly build to the crescendos. "Parables" includes some of his best piano playing. But Gayle saves the best for the CD's last cut, "Jericho." The three-minute piece is breathtaking, as Gayle plays saxophone and piano simultaneously in front of a live audience, while drummer Michael Wimberly's banging cymbals are outdone by Gayle's crashing piano chords. Unfortunately, the first and last tracks on Testaments bookend not-so-memorable in-between material.
On 2011's Kaiso, trumpeter and bandleader Etienne Charles examined calypso, his native Trinidad's most famous cultural export, through the lens of 21st century post-bop. The end result expanded the reach of both musics without watering down either. On Creole Soul, Charles and his group use modern creative jazz to engage 20th century Caribbean folk and pop traditions throughout the Caribbean, from Trinidad to Jamaica, from Haiti to Martinique, in originals and covers.