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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