Ska-Shah Plus+ - Ives Arsène Appolon, Jean-Michel St. Victor (Zouzoule), Rodrigue Gauthier (Ti Krane). If you are wondering where they have been, you will be delighted with the most recent CD of Ska-Shah Plus, entitled “Viva Obama “. Released on the occasion of Music Day in France, on June 21 2009, it is a most fitting CD. Yves Arsène Appolon is a most prolific and tireless performer. As he told me recently, he lives in his suitcase, meaning he is constantly on the road, either in the Caribbean of in Europe, you can hear how delighted he is playing konpa for the fans.
This release is typical of Ives Arsène: a solid, well set, disciplined, steady style of konpa. As usual, he is quite a composer in his own right. Apart from the musicians I mentionned above, a whole host of other Martiniquan and Haitian musicians provide wonderful support which make the music really smooth: Mike Hérivaux, Michel Delva, Jeff Omega, Clifford Sylvain, Ricardo (Ti Plume) Frank and many others. Listen to the piano playing of Jocel Alméus who judiciously applies his vast knowledge of konpa arrangements to the songs . For example, tune No. 2 , Konpa Mix 2 Max, is a very nice potpourri of konpa with very nice modern arrangements. The different melodies fit each other in a seamlessly while a well harmonized brass section comes in throughout the song to provide the transition. Of note is the title tune “Viva Obama”, played on a wonderful chachacha beat. Arsène. Those who are familiar with the play of Arsène Appolon certainly know how much he loves latin rhythms and how much he loves to play them. And the does such a good job! The lyrics on this song do not need to be explained. The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States resulted in a incredible amount of tunes composed in his honor on different continents, in all languages. This one certainly ranks among the best. Yves you love African music from the Continent, specifically Soukous, you will enjoy tune No. 5: Chika Boom. Here is a song that will put ants in your pants, as they say. It is quite entertaining.
All in all, this CD is vintage Yves Arsène Appolon. The music is smooth, sereine and entertaining. You could dance to it all night and never get tired. The beautiful melodies are enhanced by a very good mixing and Ricardo Frank provided a wonderful support on the guitar. Ska Shah fans and Yves Arsène Appolon's admirers will not be disappointed by this CD. All the songs are very well written and will make you get up to dance. That is why I recommend it for your collection.
Help fight Haitian CD piracy; it is bad for everyone.
Serge Bellegarde for Windows on Haiti – December 2009
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