Nou La (Lakou Brooklyn 641444111725, 2012)
Haitian rots music, poetry and jazz come together in the debut album by a New York-based group called Vo-Duo. Haitian guitarist and lead singer Monvelyno Alexis and Denmark-born percussionist Markus Schwartz have recorded an album titled Nou La (“We’re Here”).
Although the opening song is an a capella piece, most of the album features the format of vocals, jazz guitar and a wide-range set of percussion, ranging from drums and small percussion to drum set. Monvelyno Alexis makes the vocal parts even more exciting with a brilliant mix of lead vocals, scatting and overdubbed harmony vocals. Markus Schwartz has spent extensive periods of time in Haiti, learning from local drummers so he has mastered Haitian rhythms, including Yanvalou, Kongo, Manbo and Mayi.
Nou La is beautifully crafted, intimate album inspired by jazz and the rhythms and chants of the Vodou music traditions of Haiti.
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.