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Haiti Direct

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 28, 2014
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$18.30 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Usually ships within 3 to 6 weeks. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

2014 two CD collection, the first in-depth exploration of the vibrant and varied colors of Haiti's music from the early '60s to the late '70s. Haiti Direct celebrates the overlooked musical legacy of Haiti, going beyond Ra-ra and voodoo stereotypes to trace the development of a unique sound that echoed across the Caribbean. Featuring in-depth liner notes and interviews with some of the musicians and producers that shaped the sound, this set is the first widely available compilation to celebrate the unique and innovative sounds of Haiti.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 28, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Strut Records
  • ASIN: B00EOC016I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,361 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I heard a track on my local community station, by Les Animateurs...thought at first it was West African...but there was something different.I had to have it and bought the cd!. This is such a treasure trove of great music..there is that vibrancy that is common with the african West coast..a love of guitars, backed up with sax, vocals, percussion...and a BIG dose of Caribbean vibe. There is also a distinct streak of a darker side...some vocals that reflect a different energy, not a church choir inspired harmony.
enjoy it!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
this is a fine collection of mainstream haitian music. it features lots of the good orchestras. this style of music has lots of ringing guitars and funky horns set to a gentle dance rhythm. i strongly recommend this. it is nice to see a fine record company like strut branching out.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After reading a passage in a Wade Davis book that described some Haitian music that he had heard, I was inspired to order this 2-CD set, spanning the years 1960 to 1978. Wow and more wow! This is an extremely interesting and captivating collection of music. At times you'd swear you were listening to some vintage Cuban jazz tunes, and at other times it sounds like something from West Africa. And that, in a nutshell, is the beauty of this collection; so many different musical influences combine for some thrilling songs.

The music of Haiti, especially from this era, was indeed a hybrid of other musical styles. As the liner notes explain, you had meringue, compas direct, cadence rampa, and "mini jazz" forming the template for these sounds. Compas direct, for example, used a "combination of styles reflecting Haiti's African roots and colonial rhythms, incorporating boleros, troubadour vocal styles, ballads, and satire." Cadence rampa is described as having "a beat closer to the mambo" with "the finesse and smoothness of comas direct." What is dubbed "mini jazz" came into being after the bigger bands of the '40s and '50s were downsized in the '60s, resulting in smaller groups that used less instruments. The fact that the "mini skirt" had become a hot fashion item around the same time helped to cement the name for this type of music. You gotta love that!

It truly is impressive that the compilers at Strut were able to uncover so much terrific music for this compilation, especially considering that many of the records were manufactured in small quantities and had little distribution outside of Haiti.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I hadn't heard much Haitian music before purchasing this album, but I will definitely will be getting more. A lot of African and Latin-American influences, which make for a very happy and high energy album.
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