Chronique 173 - The fluid sound of guitarist Jean Chardavoine

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Chronique 173 - The fluid sound of guitarist Jean Chardavoine

Post by Serge » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:33 pm

Nearly 8 years after the release of “The tribute””, his magnificent homage to the victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Jean Chardavoine ‘s most recent release opens a new window into the creativity of this excellent guitarist. Entitled “Deep within”, this CD offers another perspective of the musical talent of Chardavoine.

Guitarist Chardavoine has a style that is quite unique among Haitian guitarists. I cannot remember any other who plays in this fashion. Chardavoine has this smooth, pure style which reminds me of the sound of famous jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. The notes flows under his fingers; his solos are well constructed throughout and if you listen to them often enough, you can almost memorize the harmonious lines. It would be interesting for a musician to transcribe all these solos, even though I recognize it would be quite a laborious task, I should add. Listen for example to his solo on the first track, “Deep within”. The melody takes different twists and turns, goes up and down, I guess seemingly reflecting the intricacies of Chardavoine’s musical orientation. Saxophone player Felipe Lamoglia does an excellent job always intervening at the right moment to complete the melody as in a dialogue with the guitar.

Chardavoine is not only an excellent guitarist, but also a formidable composer. All nine tunes on the CD were written and arranged by him. This is no small task. The arrangements are sophisticated and enhanced by a solid cast of musicians. Listen for example to track no. 5 “Happy to be nappy”. The introduction to the song shows how Chardavoine’s play can be lyrical, reflexive, almost melancholic. The melody is supported by the beautiful play of violinist Caroline Buse and cellist Megan Martier. But this tone does not last long, as the song turns into a happy rhythm with Brazilian overtones. You will also thoroughly enjoy tracks no. 4 "Forgotten dreams", no.6 "Karamel"; no. 8 "Ode to Marco" . In track no. 9., "Cul de sac", Chardavoine is in the purest tradition of swing. If anything, the song is too brief after we have enjoyed such a scintillating guitar solo followed by an equally solid trumpet solo by Pasha Karchevsky-Suyazov.

I should also mention track no. 8 “Astrida”, played on a nice folkloric beat which shows the versatility of the musicians, notably that of the remarkable drummer Kim Plainfield, who does an incredible job throughout the CD. You will not find a busier drummer. Playing on 8 of the 9 tracks on the CD, Plainfield effortlessly fills in every second of the song, weaving in and out of the melody, attentive to every nuance of the song. He never lets up. He is just amazing!. It is quite unfortunate that he did not live to see the release of this album and enjoy the fruits of his work as he passed away before the CD was released.

Since the release of the CD, Chardavoine has been busy performing in various settings in New York, Florida, Haiti and many other places. I hope you get a chance to attend one of his performances, otherwise, go online to his website in order to get your copy, as he is the sole producer and distributor of his CD.

Serge Bellegarde for Windows on Haiti, June 2018
Help fight Haitian CD piracy, we all will be better for it. Otherwise, the musician loses, the music industry loses, the culture loses

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