Ochan Pou Yo (Mini Records MRSD-1999, 1999)
Miami Live is apparently a relatively large local studio orchestra assembled by Fred Paul, keen to show that Miami is now the heart of Haitian music, especially for compas, Haiti’s irresistible merengue-like dance form. The results are once again excellent, with great vocals, clear and smooth, and a rich full sound, both languid and sensual, embodying the distinctive beat of contemporary compas, enriched with zouk – the other great musical innovation of the French Caribbean.
The title track is a choice party piece – the lead vocal, echoed by a chorus, alternates with the instruments in amicable competition. The tracks are quite long – from 8 to 18 minutes, allowing the soloists ample scope to show off their skills. Particularly impressive is the use of the synthesizer, which swings and sways like a palm tree in a tropical storm!
The liner notes unfortunately tell us nothing about either the musicians or the tracks, which suggests that the CD is chiefly aimed at the knowledgeable Haitian diaspora.
Buy Ochan Pou Yo
Author: William Bain
William Bain wrote these reviews while he was host of ‘Chimes of Freedom’ on CFFF/ Trent Radio (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada)