Haiti is one country that is surprisingly often ignored when diving into the sounds of the Caribbean, so it’s to Strut’s credit that they have managed to piece together this brand new compilation.
Subtitled Big Band, Mini Jazz and Twoubadou Sounds, 1960-1978, the album’s intent is to shine a spotlight on the sounds that go beyond the regular Voodoo stereotypes of the country. While Cuba was refining salsa and Jamaica was staking its claim on reggae back in the 1960s, Haiti was instead twisting meringue into fresh sound compas direct.
Big band rivals Nemours Jean-Baptiste and Webert Sicot were the genre’s initial pioneers, but towards the end of the 1960s, the genre made room for a handful of smaller, more urgent outfits that blended electric guitars and paved the way for the 70s. As the 70s took hold, the Haitian sounds spread rapidly through South America and France, and had a resounding influence on zouk in the 1980s, so it’s enlightening to hear the development of the sound in one place finally.
The compilation has been put together by Hugo Mendez, boss of the Sofrito label, and is a blend of rare gems and more widely known starting points, providing something for collectors as well as intrigued new listeners. Due for release on October 29, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Partners In Health charity.
Listen to Les Loups’ ‘Pile Ou Face’ below.
01 Ibo Combo – Ti Garçon
02 Les Vikings – Choc Vikings
03 Les Animateurs – Ti Machine
04 Les Loups Noirs – Pile Ou Face
05 Rodrigue Milien Et Son Groupe Combite Creole – 6ème Leçon
06 Zotobre Feat. Webert Sicot – Lagen
07 Les Fantaisistes De Carrefour – Panno Caye Nan Bwa D’chenn
08 Bossa Combo – Line
09 Les Pachas Du Canapé Vert – Désordre Musical
10 Ti Paris Et Sa Guitare – Cochon St. Antoine
11 Groupe Les Chleu-chleu – Compas X
12 Ra Ra De Léogane – Gade Moune Yo
13 Tabou Combo – Ce Pas
14 Les Difficiles De Pétion-ville – An Septième
15 Les Frères Dejean – Packard
16 Trio Select – Ensemble Select En Action
01 Raoul Guillaume – Mal Élevé
02 Super Jazz Des Jeunes – Cote Moune Yo
03 Pierre Blain Et Orchestre Murat Pierre – Jouc Li Jou
04 Ensemble Meridional Des Cayes – Calma Pèlerin
05 Ensemble Etoile Du Soir – Messe Quatre Heures
06 Nemours Jean-baptiste – Ti Carole
07 Orchestre Septentrional – Baptême Ratt
08 Les Ambassadeurs – Homenaje A Los Ambajadores
09 Caribbean Sextet – Suspan’n
10 Djet-x – Jive Turkey
11 Les Shleu Shleu – Crapaud
12 Scorpio Universel – Ti Lu Lu Pe
13 Orchestre Tropicana D’haiti – Pran Pasyans