by Serge Bellegarde
Following is my personal list of the ten best Haitian CDs for 2002. Once more, let me say that the list is not at all exclusive, and some very good albums may not appear on it, but I had to make some though surgery and reduce it to only ten, not fifteen or twenty. That is why it is very suggestive.
2002 has been the year of the "Twoubadou " genre launched by Fabrice Rouzier and Clément (Kéké) Bélizaire and it is thus normal that I start off the list with this category.
Quite a few CDs have been released in this category during 2002, some better than others. But here are my favorites for 2002
- Haiti Twoubadou - Volume 3
May I also suggest Vol. 1 and 2 and that would make a nice gift set of Twoubadou
music. The music is crisp, creative and the rythm is infectious. The mixing is excellent and the arrangements are tasteful, subtle, sophisticated. Haiti Twoubadou has a unique, very distinctive sound which sets it apart from everyone. A must in your Twoubadou collection.
- Klasik Twoubadou - Vol. 1 and 2
This is an excellent set of Twoubadou music recently released by Fred Paul and Mini Records. The music is very good and features quite a few old songs by legendary Haitian musicians of the past, such as : Dodof Legros, Anilus Cadet, Raoul Guillaume, Joe Jack and many more. The mixing is excellent, the arrangements are very good and Fred Paul has put together a nice mix of vocalists to enhance the music. Another indispensable addition to your collection.
This is the first release by Tabou Combo's singer Roger Eugène, better known as Shoubou. It is very good Twoubado
u style music, even though the sound is different from the others. Shoubou is supported by an excellent cast of musicians such as Ricardo Frank (Ti Plume), the musicians' musician, Tico Pasquet on the drum, Magnum Band's excellent drummer, Joe Charles on the bass and others. Together, they provide Shoubou with a wonderfully synchronized rythm section which enhances Shoubou's singing. You will thouroughly enjoy this CD. [/*:m]
The choice was not easy. Despite the Twoubadou wave, some excellent Konpa albums were released last year.
- Zenglen - Nou pèdi fren
This excellent CD tops my list as Zenglen continues its tradition of putting out quality material. Its style of Konpa combines the basic characteristics of classic Konpa and modern arrangements which make for a wonderful sound. The songs are very well written and performed by excellent musicians. Most
important to me, the lyrics of Zenglen's songs are very meaningful, perhaps the most meaning ful of the different Konpa bands. Whatever the theme, Zenglen gives as much importance to the melody as to the lyrics. You have to add this CD to your collection.
This CD was produced by Serge Descard and even though it did not get much publicity in my estimation, I can tell you that it is an excellent Konpa CD. It brings together some of the top Haitian musicians such as Gracia Delva, André Déjean, Yves Abel, Mackarios Césaire, Tuco Bouzi, Prince Ello. Of particular interest is a beautiful tune entitled Ayiti passion, a medley of different tunes dealing with Haiti. You need to add it to your collection.
- X-factor- Yo bare'm
This is another excellent CD which, in my opinion, should have gotten more airplay. Released by Mini Records, it features the music of Roger Jean-Bap
tiste, better known as " Ti Yale ". As a co-founder of the famous Djet X Band, he reappears on the scene with a very nice album. The music is crisp, well mixed and the arrangements are well laid out. If you like Djet-X, you will love this CD. The brass section is right on the money and the rythm is well set. I sure hope Ti Yale does not stop there. This CD will enliven your party.
- Mini All Stars - Bon Boul
This is an excellent CD released by Mini All Stars. As usual, Fred Paul put together a nice cast of musicians to produce this CD. The mixing is very good and the music is highly entertaining. The brass section is out of this world and the arrangements are excellent. The CD is dedicated to one of the most important figures of Haitian football, Emmanuel Coicou and part of the profits goes to the development of youth football in Haiti. This is another reason to buy this CD which combines excellent music with a worthy cause. [/li
Best Male Vocalist
This is the most recent CD released by Jean-Claude Eugène. In my humble opinion, I consider it Jean Claude Eugène's best so far. The CD opens with a beautiful song composed by Toto Duval, the well-kown guitarist which rose to fame with Orchestre Wébert Sicot. The lyrics are by Jean-Claude Eugène and I must say that rarely will you be so moved by the lyrics of a song. Eugène sings with emotions and sensitivity and his music is enhanced by Toto Duval's beautiful arrangements. Jean-Claude Eugène writes the lyrics to all his songs and believe me, you will not hear better than that. This CD is a real treat to your ears and you absolutely want to add it to your collection. [/*:m]
- Tucando- Vol. 1
If you loved Hait
iando, you will be equally satisfied with this CD by Tuco Bouzi and Co. Obviously inspired by the Haitiando Series, this CD offers some beautiful Salsa sound. In contrast to Haitiando, there is a brass section on this album. A judicious choice of tunes by Ska-Sha, Nemours Jean-Baptiste, Koupe Kloue etc. was made and the Salsa arrangements are excellent. Tuco always liked Latin music and this is probably a project that he had been working on for a long time. This CD should be a hit in any party. [/*:m]
- Istwa Peyi Dayiti - Vol. 7
This is the seventh volume of Prof. Jean Julien's series of historical CDs on Haiti. This CD covers the period 1922-1946. As usual, Prof. Julien is in excellent form. This period starts with President Borno to end with the Lescot Administration. This CD is extremely informative and it is fascinating to follow the many plots the politicians engaged in their thirst for power. It is sad to note tha
t not much has changed since. Politics remains firmly at the helm. It is absolutely important that Haitians buy this CD as well as the previous six volumes. It contains a wealth of information that should benefit each and everyone of us. [/*:m]
© January 2003 Windows on Haiti