August 1 at 11:15am
Chronique musicale No. 161
The Smooth sound of Reginald Policard. - It had been a while since his last CD, but the wait was well worth it. Reginald Policard’s new release, Mirage, is the kind of music which, in the words of David Einhorn, “stays with you”. Einhorn, who plays wonderful bass lines on the CD, could not be more right.
Unlike some of his previous jazz releases, I found Reginald Policard to be much more lyrical, even mellow, than usual. This is a music that relaxes you, that you listen to in an intimate area softly lit, so that you can fully enjoy the wonderful melodies that Policard writes with such care. Each one of the melodies is a gem in its own right. And they are all originals written by Policard. The title tune, Mirage, features the trumpet player Jean Caze and sax player Felipe Lamoglia. Those familiar with the music of Jean Caze will really appreciate the fluidity of his play on the flugelhorn and the trumpet. Lamoglia’s haunting sound is as harmonious as you will ever hear. As subdued as it is, Policard’s piano fills in every small crack in the song with feeling and a caressing touch. The third tune, Autumn tears, is another perfect illustration of Policard’s lyricism. The fourth tune, Chimen kwaze, features the excellent Martiniquan singer Ralph Tamar, a veteran of Haitian music. This is another one of the highlights on the CD. Those who know of the famous African American jazz singer Johnny Hartman, will love to listen to Ralph Tamar’s melodious voicing which reminds you of Johnny Hartman. He is so ably supported by Policard’s delicate touch on the piano and a wonderful rythmic section. Lamoglia’s sensitive sound will titillate your musical senses.
Speaking of highlights, I could not fail to mention two songs in particular. Tune No. 5, After the rain, features Caze on the flugelhorn. It is a real joy to listen to such a pure sound as that of Jean Caze. Tune No. 6, Deside w, is an even more eloquent expression of Caze’s wonderful sound. This tune is an outstanding interpretation of one of Reginald Policard’s compositions written quite a few years ago. The arrangement is out of this world. Caze’s solo on the trumpet is a masterpiece. He hits these high notes with such ease!
Reginald Policard is supported by a wonderful group of musicians who contribute to making this CD one of his best pieces of work. It is no wonder that tune No. 9 is entitled: So Happy (Kè m kontan). This is indeed a happy tune and you can hear Reginald Policard happily humming the lyrics-less melody. In fact the whole group is just having fun.
Mirage is one more proof that Haitian Jazz is alive and well. I had the immense pleasure to attend a concert by Reginald Policard this past July 22 and it was a real treat. An up and coming young 21 year old trumpet player by the name of Maxime Lafond (my apologies if I spell the name wrong), and the wonderful Melissa Dauphin (of Strings fame) dazzled the audience with their talent. The drummer, Johnbern Thomas whose reputation is already well established, gave a scintillating performance that night, alongside bass players David Einhorn and Ady Lafosse.
As I said earlier, it had been a while since Reginald Policard’s last CD, but his latest one, Mirage, largely compensates the wait and I encourage you to get your copy.
Serge Bellegarde – July 2017 for Windows on Haiti on FB
Help fight Haitian CD piracy, we all will better for it. Otherwise, the musician loses, the music industry loses, the culture loses
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