Chronique 176 - The waltz of the guitars

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Chronique 176 - The waltz of the guitars

Post by Serge » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:59 pm

This Chronique musicale covers two recently released CDs which will make the delight of those who enjoyed listening to the harmonious sound of the guitar in Haitian music.

Toto Laraque’s “Guitarement vôtre – Vol. 8 ‘ is a real gem. It is well worth reading what Toto Laraque, this veteran of the Konpa rhythm with a long history on the Haitian musical scene, says about the fifteen compositions which comprise this album. Having composed eleven of the fifteen tunes, Toto Laraque is once more showing his prolific talent as a composer. On top of that, the CD also showcases the musical skills of Toto’s son, Pascal, both as an arranger on six of the tunes, and as a wonderful pianist. His play shows how greatly he has matured since he first started playing with his multitalented father. You will appreciate the smooth repartee between the piano and the guitar on each one of the tune, the harmonious dialogue which enhances the melodies. To cap it all, on two of the tunes, the famous pianist Eddy Prophète provides the icing on the cake. His playing is remarkable on tune no.3 “Gladys”. One of my all-time favorite Haitian ballads “Adeline”, receives a wonderful treatment on this CD. It features the great Haitian guitarist Harold Faustin whose beautiful lines adds to the harmony. Listen to the nice dialogue among Harold’s Guitar, Eddy’s piano and Toto’s guitar. Just out of this world! The group is also firmly supported by one of my favorites drummer, Shedly Abraham, the omnipresent drummer’s drummers.

The CD is greatly enhanced not only by the beautiful music, but also by the variety of the sounds included by the versatile Toto Laraque. From konpa, to salsa, to flamenco flavored rythms, to ballads, the music aficionado will be highly entertained by this CD. The mixing is very good, the musicianship is excellent and this is guaranteed enjoyment!

Another style, another beautiful set of music can be found on Ernst Bruny’s most recent CD entitled “ Serenad Kreyòl” . Bruny’s style reminds me very much of the sound of the late guitarist Eric Gale: a pure, kind of laid back and sensitive sound. Indeed, he is very smooth and relaxing and his music is much pleasing to ears. His adaptation of such classic tunes like “Blue Bossa”, “Song of my father”, “What a Wonderful World”, are a joy to listen to. “Song for my Father” played on a nice Haitian rara beat I wonderfully arranged. Ably supported by drummer Shedly Abraham (who else?), Ronald Smith, Jean-Max Valcourt, pianist Frederic Lasfargeas, one of my favorite bass player, Yves Albert Abel . The CD captivates you from the first song to the last. You will enjoy an interesting arrangement of Tabou Combo’s most famous tune “Lakay”, always bringing back strong feelings of nostalgia among Haitians of all ages. Bruny’s lyrical style comes forth throughout the CD, giving his music an incredible relaxing sound. His interpretation of the well known Haitian tune “Yoyo” played on a soft konpa beat is wonderful.

As the title of the CD indicates, we are in for a real serenade when listening to Bruny’ s CD which offers a variety of Haitian rythms, very good mixing and just most enjoyable music.

Should you be looking for some nice, harmonious , lyrical guitar music, Toto Laraque’s “Guitarement vôtre, vol 8” and Ernst Bruny’s “Serenad Kreyòl” are your best choices. You cannot go wrong.

Serge Bellegarde for Windows on Haiti – September 2018
Help fight Haitian CD piracy, we all will be better for it. Otherwise, the musician loses, the music industry loses, the culture loses.

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