After seeing him take Haiti by storm a couple of years ago with his first album, Lakou Trankil, I , and I am sure many others, had been expecting with a lot of excitement his next project. The wait was well worth it. Jean Belony Murat, better known as Belo, has done an excellent job with his second CD, entitled “Reference”, is exactly that: a reference for some solid all around music.
Belo has surrounded himself with an excellent cast of musicians, both Haitians and non-Haitians, such as Ed Calle on sax, Luiz Marquez on horns, Fabrice Rouzier, Kéké Bélizaire, Hans Peters, Jowee Omicil and so many more. The result is an exquisite CD, beautiful arrangements and some solid music.
Belo has not confined himself on this album to playing Reggae only as he had done on his previous one. And that is a testimony to the versatility of the singer. You will hear a wide variety of ballads and rythms in those songs, some beautiful arrangements and wonderful solos by soprano sax player Jowee Omicil. The new arrangement of Lakou Trankil (which was on his previous) is excellent. Listen to Jowee Omicil' work. He sounds better and better to me every time I listen to him. On Ayiti leve, his sound is so expressive! It sounds like he is talking to you with his instrument when he plays. Each one of the songs is a powerhouse. The last tune on the CD, “Pwopozisyon” is played on a wonderful catchy reggae beat and toward the end, there is a smooth transition to a rara beat that will get to you.
Belo is an impressive artist, not so much because of his voice, but because of his maturity, the power of his lyrics and the high harmonic quality of his music. The lyrics in Tune No. 4 Mwen bouke, and 6, Ti moun yo, which deal with the children are very poignant, as the children in Haiti are the most affected by present economic and social conditions in the country. It is an understatement to say that Belo's concern revolves around Haiti and the social conditions prevailing there. One can feel and hear his love for his country and his frustrations that things are not getting better.
The music is nice, the arrangements are superb, the mixing is excellent, the lyrics in each one of the songs are profoundly meaningful. The whole CD is a powerful social message. That is Belo: professional, consciencious, disciplined, purposeful, sensitive. That is a powerful combination for a wonderful musical experience. That is why I urge you to get your copy of this CD, if you have not yet. You will thoroughly enjoy it !
Help fight Haitian CD piracy, it is bad for everyone.
For windows on Haiti. November 2008
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