Chronique 124 - Harmonik

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Chronique 124 - Harmonik

Post by Serge » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:37 pm

I had the opportunity some months ago, during one of my CD hunting trips to New York, to pick up a new release by a brand new Haitian konpa group called: Harmonik. I hesitated buying it, that is until I read the names of the musicians listed on the back cover. I was immediately sold when I saw the name of musicians like Nickenson Prud'Homme, Shedley Abraham, Élie Lapointe, Julio Diaz etc. There is no way I could go wrong ! Indeed, what a most pleasant, enjoyable musical surprise this CD has been!. In my opinion, “Harmonik” is simply one of the best konpa album to come out in 2008. What else could one expect from Maestro Nickenson Prud'Homme, anyway? He is such an excellent konpa composer and arranger who has been living his mark for some time now on the Haitian musical scene!

Whether playing with Zenglen or solo, keyboardist Prud'Homme has developed a wonderful, really smooth brand of konpa. His melodies are beautifully arranged and the band is supported by an excellent cast of musicians. The first tune on the CD “Harmonize'm “ is one of the best konpa tune I have heard in some time. The arrangements are solid and the brass section is excellent. Drummer Shedley Abraham plays with such discipline, following every facet of the song and providing a smooth flow to the music. Prud'Homme's solos on the keyboard are right on the money. He has a knack for finding some of the prettiest melodies which remain with you, and he does it throughout the album.

The CD bears its title well. You can hear the tremendous work Nickenson Prud'Homme did with the harmony. Each song reflects the care, the work and the harmony with which he wrote the song. Listen for example to the title tune “Jere'm”. It starts on a light reggae beat and soon after switches to a wonderfully slow, sentimental, nostalgic and soothing konpa. In fact, the whole CD reflects this soothing feeling. Even when the lyrics deal with politics, like in tune No. 11 “Se pa politik”, you hear the softness in the melody, as if the composer's message was that we are all tired of the violence that politics bring about, and that it is time for calm and reflection on our situation in Haiti.

I usually like to point out on a CD one or two of my favorite tunes, but, there is no need to do that here. I like them all. Every time I listen to it – and I have done so quite a few times since I bought -, it sounds as fresh and you discover something you had not paid attention to before. The music is not noisy, it is just excellent; the CD offers a variety of sound; the lyrics are pretty good and the musicians did an excellent job. I have been an admirer of his music for some time and this CD did not disappoint me and it will not disappoint you either. Prud'Homme's talent as a composer, arranger, and keyboardist is quite impressive.

In short, this CD is a superb piece of work by Prud'Homme. It is well put together. If I sound so effusive about the CD, it I because I find it so good, easily one of the best for 2008. I you have not bought your copy yet, I would urge you to run to your friendly record store and get one. You will be highly satisfied, I guarantee it.

Help fight Haitian CD piracy, it is bad for everyone.

Serge Bellegarde, for Windows on Haiti.
November 2008.

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