The stage may seem crowded, but new groups continue to appear on the scene. This Chronique covers the first release of Chalè Mizik's CD entitled “La Chatte de Mm Bruno”. The group may be new, but the musicians themselves are veteran of Konpa dirèk.
The band leader is Bono Bernard, better known as just Bono. Apart from the group's members, he has assembled a formidable cast of guests to musicians who make the album quite entertaining. Here are some names: Philippe Toto Laraque, Makarios Césaire, Shedley Abraham, the drummer whose is in very high demand these days, Jean Edouard Ritchie, Armstrong Jeune, Sergo Décius, Cassandra Jean, Nickenson Prud'homme, Michel Blaise and so many others.
The first tune on the album , “Yo pap marié/No money no honey” puts you right in the mood. I find Bono's voice quite engaging. He has this joie de vivre when he sings that is contagious. Shedley Abraham, as usual provides excellent support to the song on the drums. You should know by now that he is one my favorite drummers and I am not the only to think so. The guy is featured on almost every new album that has been released recently.
Tune No. 2 “Kenbé”, composed by Kenny Desmangles is one of the most profound on the album. The lyrics were written by Kenny, Ritchie and Bono and deal with the perennial problem of young women getting pregnant too early. These young women are encouraged to resist temptation, because of the many problems caused by early pregnancy. You can definitely hear the Zenglen touch that Ritchie brings in that song. Listen to Makarios Césaire's solo in this song. He has this special, lackadaisical sound, never being in a hurry and suddenly, a cascade of notes. He has a very harmonious and relaxing sound.
Guitarist Philippe Toto Laraque gives a scintillating performance in Tune No. 7 “Pa kite'm”, an adaptation of the song of the same title. Thanks to his long experience in the music, Toto is equally at ease , whether he plays jazz or konpa.
All in all, the album is entertaining. Of the 14 songs on the CD, Bono is a composer or an arranger, besides his vocal work. This is impressive. If I have any criticism, it is that the mixing could be a bit better and more effort could have been made to avoid spelling mistakes in the titles of the songs written in Haitian kreyòl. This is unfortunately a perennial problem with Haitian artists who do not pay enough attention to their role of ambassadors of our culture. But this does not diminish the value of the album as an entertaining music that should definitely be featured in your collection.
Help fight Haitian CD piracy; it is bad for everyone.
Serge Bellegarde, for Windows on Haiti, December 2008
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