Chronique 147 - Chardavoine

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Serge
Posts: 323
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:39 am

Chronique 147 - Chardavoine

Post by Serge » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:54 pm

For a number of years now, the New York and Miami areas have become strongholds of Haitian jazz outside of Haiti. I can remember a few years ago when S.O.B organizes a huge Haitian jazz evening, one of the first, to the delight of the many fans. There has been not let up since. You cannot talk about Haitian jazz artists without mentioning guitarist Chardavoine, a concrete manifestation of Haitian jazz artistry. His most recent release, “The Tribute”, is an eloquent testimony of this and showcases his talent not only as an excellent musician, but also as a great creative arranger.

The fingers on your hands are not enough to count the number of different interpretations of such traditional songs like "Latibonit", Mèsi Bondye”, “Lavi mizisyen”, “Yoyo”. Yet, under the direction of Chardavoine, they sound as fresh as ever. The CD opens with the traditional "Latibonit" played on a very entertaining rara beat. Chardavoine's style is smooth, nuanced, sensitive. He reminds me of the famed guitarist Pat Metheny with hints of French guitarist Philippe Catherine. In other words, you get sophistication combined with harmonious arrangements for your listening pleasure. It helps tremendously that he is supported by an excellent cast of musicians like, among others, the famous flutist Dave Valentin and the great Jean Caze on trumpet. Listen to the dialogue, first between Chardavoine 's scintillating solo and Valentin, and then between Valentin and Caze. They are just having fun talking to each other thought their instruments. And then in a beautiful entrance, sax player Surgei Gurbelo inserts himself in the conversation à la John Coltrane. Just beautiful! Sergo Decius on the congas does not need any introduction. He provides excellent support in the rythmic section and his solo will on this tune will make you jump up and down.

Dave Valentin's teacher and mentor was none other than the magnificent flutist Hubert Laws. He learnt well. His tribute to the earthquake victims in Haiti is a masterful short interlude in which he manages, through the combination of his flute and his voice, to convey all that Haitians felt during those fatal moments on January 12: fear, panic, desperation, destruction and so on. In his mouth, the flute becomes a talking instrument, much like the African talking drums.

Chardavoine's skills as an arranger can be heard throughout the CD. The traditional “Mèsi Bondye” acquires a whole new flavor with the addition of singer Felina Backer handling the vocals. She does a wonderful job.

Tune No. 4, “Bird of Beauty", another tribute to Haiti's earthquake victims, written by Stevland Morris, is an uplifting melody which adequately reflects the combative spirit of the Haitian people. Caze's trumpet solo, Gary Fisher's piano solo and Dave Anderson's bass solo provide the song with an incredible vitality, while Thierry Arpino's drums and Ismael Bruno's bongos keep the beat very steady. This is a wonderful combination of sounds.

When I picked up the CD, I was most curious to hear the treatment that Chardavoine would give to the last tune "Lavi Mizisyen", a song composed by André Romain and which became the signature song for the musical group Ibo Lele some 40 years ago at least. Right from the harmonica introduction by Surgei Gurbelo, you know you are in for a treat. This interpretation is everything and none of what you expected. Chardavoine takes this konpa song and makes it a funky piece with some wonderful solos by Chardavoine and Caze. The bass line combines with the drums to provide a solid beat. Arpino's repartees with the piano back and forth are most effective! This is the most original arrangement I have heard of this song and it is a tribute to the creative talent of Chardavoine whom you sense is always exploring new avenues.

Each one of the songs on the CD is a joy to listen to and this is the kind of CD that grows on you. The more you listen to it, the more you like it. This is one of the best this year in its category. Your collection would be quite incomplete without it in your collection of Haitian jazz, so it would be a good idea to rush without delay to your Haitian CD store to get your copy.

Help fight Haitian CD piracy; it is bad for everyone.
Serge Bellegarde, for Windows on Haiti, October 2010 (www.windosonhaiti.com)

Michelange Hyppolite
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:41 pm

Mizik

Post by Michelange Hyppolite » Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:03 pm

Mwen ta renmen achte sidi sa a. Ki kote mwen kab jwenn li?
Mwen pa rete non.
Se te Kaptenn Koukourouj depi Otawa nan Kanada.

Serge
Posts: 323
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:39 am

Post by Serge » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:06 pm

Kaptenn , kouman w ye?

Mon chè, mwen pa konnen si gen kèk magazen CD ayisyen kote w ye a, men si ou gen moun New York, ou ka mande li achte li pou wou. Oubyen, ou kapab achte li tou sou Entènèt. Si wal sou Google epi tape Chardavoine, fòk ou ta ka rive sou sit ki pou pèmèt ou achte li.

Kenbe fèm,

Serge

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