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6409: Ten best Haitian CDs FOR 2000 (fwd)

From: Guy S Antoine <GuyAntoine@worldnet.att.net>

>From Windows on Haiti, http://windowsonhaiti.com

Ten best Haitian CDs FOR 2000
By Serge Bellegarde

This is the season when some of us are always scrambling at the
last minute to find a gift for a loved one. What about a gift of
music, and more precisely, a nice Haitian CD? There is quite a
choice and I have tried, albeit with difficulty, to select ten of the
best Haitian CDs for 2000. It was not easy. The list is entirely
subjective, reflects my personal taste and is not at all exclusive.
It is my hope that it will help you narrow your choices and save
you some agonizing moments.

If you like Rasin Jazz, you will love these three CDs:

"Kilti Chok" [1] is comprised of Haitian musicians and a Japanese
piano player. This is an excellent album of Jazz based on Haitian
Rasin Music. The group received rave reviews internationally.
You will hear some wonderful guitar, piano, conga and bass work.
This is a must in any collection.

"Mozayik" [2] is another gem of a CD. These young and talented
artists are based in New York. Their first album was extremely
well received, and for good reason. The music is crisp, the melodies
beautiful. This is jazz firmly grounded in Haitian Rasin Music. Some
interpretations of Haitian traditional songs are out of this world. Add
this CD to your collection.

Bémol Jean Telfort's CD "The good news is the bad news was
wrong" [3] is the most recent release by a Haitian guitarist in 2000.
It is excellent. I find that as far as his style is concerned, Bémol
Telfort has remained the closest to two guitarists who obviously
have been his main mentors: Wes Montgomery and to a lesser
extent George Benson. Like the others, he blends his music with
a Haitian Rasin beat. He is an impressive guitarist who plays
exquisite music.

Among women artists, I chose these two:
Emeline Michel's "Cordes et âmes" [4] marks a return to the
roots for Emeline. It is a wonderful CD that underscores the
richness of her voice. The lyrics are out of this world. I highly
recommend it as a gift.

Lody Auguste's "Si m pa rele" [5] is a strong reminder of the
social and political struggle of the Haitian people. This is
committed music at its best, a genre that is unfortunately too
absent in Haitian music these days in my opinion. . Strongly
supported by musicians like Eddy Prophète, Welmyr
Jean-Pierre, Didier Labossière and many others, this is a
complete package of excellent arrangements and meaningful
lyrics. A must for your collection.

I chose two Konpa Dirèk albums, for their entertainment value:
"Djazz la and Action" [6] is an excellent Konpa CD. Made up
of excellent musicians like Shedly Abraham, Yves Albert Abel,
Edy Brisseaux, Ralph Conde and so many others, this is a solid
Konpa CD. I like the concept of each series of song separated
by brief interludes. It's a very entertaining album and most
welcome in this season of parties.

"Konpa Gold" [7] is a nice compilation of different artists. For
someone, such as a foreigner, who would like to have a sampler
of varied Konpa styles, this CD is a good choice.

Rounding up this engaging set of gift recommendations,
"Haitiando, Vol. 1", [8] one of the most original CDs to come
out in 2000 is a magnificent blend of Haitian traditional songs
played on Cuban rhythms, thus cementing the strong cultural
bonds between our two people. Eddy Prophète, Boulo Valcourt
and various Cuban musicians join forces for your enjoyment and
what a wonderful job they did! By the way, Vol. 2 just came out
and you might want to give the set as a gift.

Edy François's "Zinga" [9] is one of the best Rasin CD releases
in the year 2000. It had been a while since he put out anything
and this CD shows that he has not lost a beat. The music is
infectious and the lyrics show how frustrated he is about social
and political inequities in Haiti. Edy François's CD is a valuable
addition to your collection.

Réginald Policard's "Ki sa nou ye?" [10] is a mixture of ballads,
soft jazz and Konpa Dirèk. Policard is one of my favorite Haitian
artists and this CD contains exquisite music and lyrics. The
arrangements are superb, and the mixing excellent.

I am confident that anyone of those CDs should facilitate your
choice of gifts this holiday season. They definitely warrant a trip
to your closest CD supplier. Good luck and my best wishes for
the New Year!

© December 2000 Windows on Haiti