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#473: Durosier band at Riviera Hotel in 1950s. Young comments
From: david X young <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Guy Duriosier had a band at the Riviera Hotel (later to become the new
Casino) in the mid fities and I used to go there a lot, especially when
Enid Mosier (of the Broadway show HOUSE OF FLOWERS, loosely based on
Madame Georgette's establishment) came from New York to perform there.
Durosier's band was pre-amplification, thank god, and it had that
charming, almost quaint, merengue dance sound of slightly out-of-tune
loose chipperness. But one night, just after Enid had returned from the
US for another visit, Guy's band had a tightly unified force to it, and
swung hard, just like Basie-- I was astonished, and mentioned it later
to Enid, who said-- "o, we spread a little happy dust around"--
In the early seventies, after Baby Doc, himself a jazz fan who brought
in many great jazz artists to perform at the Palace, was in power, I
visited with an old friend Herbie Widmaier in Petionville, and was
treated to a rousing renditon of Monk's STRAIGHT NO CHASER on the piano
by Durosier, who turned to me and laughed, recalling the days at the
Riviera "And all I used to think of was the MELODY!!"
On a visit a couple of years later I found out that Baby Doc had kicked
him out of Haiti because of an involvement with cocaine.
Someday I think that all the knee jerk characterization of the Baby Doc
years--certainly, until the marriage--the most stable economic years
Haiti has had-- may have to be reconsidered.
David X Young