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Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:06 pm
by admin
[quote]In the Rasin (Roots) category, the CD entitled Tou Manbre by the group Lataye is at the top of my list. I found it the best Rasin Cd to be released in a number of years. Led by Daniel Beaubrun from Boukman Eksperyans, the album features an impressive list of musicians. The music is simply superb. I enjoyed everyone of the songs. The lyrics are very good, the mixing is excellent and the variety of Haitian folkloric beat is very educational. This is quite a piece of work and you will enjoy every minute of it. [/quote]
Serge, thanks to you, I have had a listen to this album (several, in fact). Though I do not take the time to go out and buy as many CD's as you do, I would find it hard to imagine an album more deserving than this one of the title "CD of the Year". Listening to it was a great pleasure from begin
ning to end. What astounds me is the sheer variety of rhythms on this one album and their precise execution. As for the lyrics, they simply raise the bar to a level rarely, if ever, matched by our commercial artists. I had received an invitation to the CD premiere at the Brooklyn Art Museum, but very unfortunately that conflicted with a previous engagement. The publicist had done a quite superb job with those invitations, by the way. As professional as you will ever come across. Since then, I have been looking for someone to tell me how that musical night went, but I have still not heard from anyone who was present. When you told me your impressions of the CD, that only heightened my expectations, and yet the music contained therein managed to exceed them.

So, I join my voice to yours in recommending this CD, and I will go one further by declaring it simply: THE ALBUM OF THE YEAR.

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:26 pm
by admin
More appreciation of Lataye
[quote]Lataye: Tou Manbre, Dadisound Productions, 2005

Rating: A

If Boukman Eksperyans' Libète is comparable to The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper, as someone has claimed, then consider Lataye's Tou Manbre as the answer to the Paul McCartney & Wings disk Band on the Run. That's a compliment, offered in appreciation of the interesting juxtapositions and musical adventure of both albums.

Daniel “Dadi” Beaubrun was a leading figure in the aforementioned acclaimed Haitian band, but like Paul McCartney, he eventually had to use a different musical vehicle for expression of his creativity. Thus he founded the group Lataye. Good news: the new band is terrific. Its music is warm, tuneful and rhythmic, eclectic in taste
and rich in talent.

The album starts with a short, pretty ballad, strongly African in its inspiration. That same flavor proudly dominates the next track too, propelled by polyrhythms, an incredible joie-de-vivre, and what sounds like a whole village joining in at times. Then a French Creole mode takes over for “Edike” with a lead vocal that would be at home in Cajun country. The world-weariness of “M Viv Avè yo” gives way to the fast dance beat, wailing electric guitar and feverish complexity of “Dakout Sa a.”

And so it goes. Vodou rubs against reggae. Schmaltz from France and textures from Africa, reinforced by American vigor and European tunefulness. All held together by Haitian musicality. An a cappella piece takes us to Ladysmith Black Mambazo territory. A lovely, vibrant violin solo transports us into the world of classical music. With an acoustic guitar we're suddenly in singer-songwriter mode. The tempos range from furious to rollicking to lively to casual to thoughtful. Altogether, it's an enticing mélange.

The old Boukman Eksperyans made music for the ages. It seems that with Tou Manbre, Lataye has announced its intention to do likewise.