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Alan Lomax in Haiti

Box Set

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, November 24, 2009
$545.00 $349.99

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2010 Grammy Finalist - Two Categories:
Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes


In 1936, in the middle of scouring rural America for folk music that might have vanished forever if not for his efforts, ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax traipsed off to Haiti for four months with his 19-year-old fiancée and a 55-pound recording unit. The results are only now available for anyone to hear.

Mr. Lomax was out to document the music of everyday Haitians, in whatever form, and to hunt for the influence of African music, as he had in the U.S. A 10-CD box set, Alan Lomax in Haiti, traces how Mr. Lomax moved from the most accessible sounds, such as the dance bands of Port-au-Prince, who had incorporated New Orleans jazz from records imported by occupying U.S. Marines. Following leads around the country, he acquired celebratory carnival songs, work songs, and eventually the music of officially forbidden Vodou (what is commonly known as voodoo) ceremonies.

As the musicians played for Mr. Lomax (pictured at right), his recording device cut sound grooves onto aluminum discs. He produced some 50 hours of sound. But the music was never publicly released. Mr. Lomax rushed on to other places and projects, and when he did revisit the Haiti recordings in the 1970s, the sound quality disappointed him.

About 10 years ago, daughter Anna Lomax Wood helped launch an effort to clean up the recordings. New software minimized surface noise and enhanced the sound. A nonprofit founded by Mr. Lomax co-produced the 10-CD set, which is also available for download and was released this week. It includes film footage shot by wife Elizabeth, whom he wed in Haiti, and a transcription of Mr. Lomax's field journal. --Wall Street Journal

The estate of Alan Lomax, Haitan scholar, and the Library of Congress have joined forces to produce a chronicle of Lomax's 1936 Haitan recording expedition in collaboration with The Association for Cultural Equity. Along with 10 CDs of recordings of Haitian musicians, the set also includes two books. One, the field journal of Lomax and a hard-bound set of liner notes and essays detailing and translating all the songs in the set. This scholarly collection of the American folklorist and ethnomusicologist's work in Haiti will be a special gift for hard-core folk music fans. --Pop Matters

Lomax sonically documented much of American culture in the 20th century, and his work is well-known to students of history. But in 1936-37 he took off for Haiti, and more than 70 years later, what he discovered is finally available to us. The recordings have been miraculously cleaned up, and the results featuring Mardi Gras and Carnival music, choruses of singing children and Vodou ceremonies is haunting, celebratory and just plain strange to 21st-century ears.

Ten discs might seem like a lot of sound to take in, and to be sure, you should take your time to absorb it all. What a remarkable documentation of a long-lost journey. It's the ideal gift for the armchair ethnomusicologist who thought he knew it all. --Denver Post

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Mèsi, Papa Vincent [Thank You, Papa Vincent]
  2. Test Strip
  3. Gonaïves
  4. Merengue
  5. Instrumental Meringue
  6. Instrumental Meringue
  7. Loko
  8. Nibo
  9. Profond admiration
  10. Medanm-yo ki di yo fidèl [Girls who clame to be innocent]
  11. Fanm ki jalou [A jealous woman]
  12. Le grande sympathie
  13. Bon kleren de Nicanor Petiguy [Nicanor Petiguy's good clairen]
  14. Déus Blues
  15. Ochan pou Président Trujillo
  16. Toulejou se yon sèl chanson [All day long it's the same refrain]
  17. Drapeau Bénis [Blessed Flag]
  18. Boumbaya, Boumbe
  19. Bluebird
  20. Bama, Bama
  21. There Stands a Bluebird
  22. Nan peyi-m fanm pa konmande [In my country women are not in charge]
  23. Fanm-sa-a, wa tiye gason [This woman will kill a man]

Disc: 2

  1. Son bon gason, mèsyè [He's a good man, my friends]
  2. Demonstration of the tuning of the malinoumbas
  3. Mèsi, Papa Vensan [Thank you, Papa Vincent]
  4. Ala mèsye ki gen kouraj banbile [These guys have the strength to party!
  5. Moun Pòdepe [Person from Port-de-Paix]
  6. Kamèn sa w fe? [Carmen, what have you done?]
  7. Ti Manman-m cheri [My dear little mama]
  8. Danbala aye
  9. Kamelit a bay la bèl choz [Carmelita will give beautiful Things]
  10. M pap mouri pou w an jalouzi [I'm not dying of jealousy]
  11. Bon ti konsèy [A bit of good advice]
  12. Ti Manman Cheri [Dear Litttle Mama]
  13. Ma Prale Jeremie [I'm going to Jeremie]
  14. Valse à elle [A waltz for her] [Instrumental]
  15. Mwen manman bouke fè m sibi [Darling, end my suffering]
  16. La Violette [Instrumental]
  17. Moun Pòdepe [Person from Port-de-Paix]
  18. Bonswa Papa Pyè
  19. Lè President Trujillo Te Visite? [When President Trujillo Visited]
  20. Nan Gonayiv [In Gonaïves]
  21. Feray-o
  22. Nibo
  23. Micheline
  24. Papa Gede Bèl Gason [Papa Gede, handsome man]

Disc: 3

  1. Madriga medley
  2. Voye ale [Let her go]
  3. Mwen pral kay tilèm [I'm going to the house of Tilèm]
  4. Maskawon drumming
  5. Ma rele se semaphore [I'm calling out that I'm a semaphore (standard be
  6. San-m ape koule [I am bleeding]
  7. Aganman monte bwa, l ale [Aganman climbed the tree, he's gone]
  8. Jènn jan Kokoaye m' tande a n'ap tronpe tifi [My young men of Cocoyé, l
  9. Woy-o woy-o plus Ochan
  10. Kondiye, wa play drapo [Conductor, you'll display the flag]
  11. Se Ayizan mwen mande [I'm asking for Ayizan]/St. Jacques Bann Vodou Son
  12. Annou manyen na wè [Touch and find out]
  13. Mèsi, Pap Vensan
  14. Se konnen, yo pa konnen ou [They don't know who you are]
  15. Kondi m ale
  16. Alantou kay la genyen difè [A fire rages around the house]
  17. Mi-a, m tande tele-o
  18. Ezili-o, Ezili-mi-a
  19. Moyiz-o [Moise]
  20. Medley: Kayako [Carioca]/Men wa men wa, woy-o [Here is the king]/Lage s
  21. Ma wè w banbile [I'll see you partying]
  22. Pou w taye banda [To strut your stuff]
  23. Prese pou n ale [Hurry up, let's go!]
  24. Moyiz-o, ma pare un bwa pou yo [Moses, I have a stick ready for them]
  25. Sourit kaba bobo a [Mice have eaten my vagina]

Disc: 4

  1. Papa Gede kenbe-m [Papa Gede has tied me up]
  2. Map pran yon fanm kon rara deyo [I'll sleep with a woman when the rara
  3. Fredrik kaba medanm-yo [Frederick finishes the ladies]/Despi yè swa m'
  4. Peny nam pwèl [A comb in the pubic hairs]/Saul-o, de ougan kontre-la [S
  5. Beni se Papa Legba [Papa Legba is a blessing]/Lave bobo, dyab-o [Wash o
  6. Chèz-o, prete m yon chèz-o [Chair, oh! Let Me have a chair]
  7. Pa mele nan betiz-sa [Don't get involved in that obscenity]
  8. M'a rele Lèlen [I'll call out to Helene]
  9. Way, way, Dimann
  10. Ouvri pòt-la, frè Ago kap entre [Open the door, Brother Ago is coming i
  11. Awi-aw-a, lage bourik-la [Awi-aw-a, leave the donkey alone]
  12. Ago monte bwa, l ale [Ago climbed the tree, he's gone]
  13. Ago, nou we sa-o, bagay-sa gen danje-o [Ago, we see this, this thing is
  14. Chèz-o, prete m yon chèz-o [Chair, bring me a chair]
  15. Bobo kaye sou teras-la [Women showing off on the road]
  16. Mwen an va, Loko, anye
  17. Papa ki ban m gwos-la [Papa got me pregnant]
  18. Katil wete fanm-nan [Katil took away the woman]
  19. Gwo, gwo [Big, big, i.e. pregnant]
  20. Voye ale [Send them away]
  21. Yavole [Jumper dress]
  22. Vaksin-s of the Rara Ste. Therèse

Disc: 5

  1. Dodo, dodo, krab nans kalalou [Sleep, sleep, crab in calalloo (okra ste
  2. Un p'tit pied laurier [A little bay tree]
  3. Un p'tit pied laurier [A little bay tree]
  4. Ti zwazo [Little bird]
  5. Delina, pinga manyen moungo [Delina, do not touch moungo]
  6. Pinga manje [Don't eat]
  7. M pa manje nan jaden manman-w [I don't eat in your mama's garden]
  8. Sè, Rosann, yap prete m yon pèlen [Sister Rosanne, they're lending me a
  9. O'Zanana [To the pineapple]
  10. Jwe yoyo [Play yoyo]
  11. Adye manman bay kola-a [Ladies and gentlemen, give us some Cola]
  12. Twa pa, toutlanwit [Three steps, all night long]
  13. De rad broule [Two desses burned]
  14. m pou mwen [Rosemarie, go talk to mama for me]
  15. Agawou-o, dyab-la bobo Lode [Agou-o, the devil hurt/kissed Lode]
  16. Bonjou, bonjou Manman sira [Good morning, Mama Sira]
  17. Cantique des patrouilles [The song of the patrols]
  18. La crocodile [The crocodile]
  19. Les scouts sont là [The scouts are there]
  20. C'est le piston qui fait marcher le machine [It's the piston that makes
  21. Madmazèl ki manje kalabou [The lady who eats calalloo (okra stew)]
  22. Je vois la Marguerite [I see the Daisy]
  23. Hélèn
  24. J'avais des belles fleures [I had some beautiful flowers]
  25. Deyè, mòn-la, ann prale wè [Behind the hill. let's go see]
  26. Bonjou, Manman Sira [Good day Mama Sira]
  27. Drums and Vaksin-s
  28. M-pral fè lago Ti Zongle [Ti Zongle, I'm going to play hide and seek]
  29. Pinga way-o [Watch out!]
  30. La fig banann [The small, sweet banana]

Disc: 6

  1. Fleurs, certaines jolies fleurs [Flowers, some beautiful flowers]
  2. Al entrant dans sa maison [Entering his house]
  3. La belle, la belle [The beautiful one, the beautiful one]
  4. Trois kilomètres, ca use les souliers [Three kilometers, wears out the
  5. M ba Sayil manje [I gave Saul food]
  6. Chère mama, cher papa, assez longtemps [Dear mama, dear papa, such a lo
  7. Etendez là [Listen]
  8. Se yon Ayewoplan [It's an airplane]
  9. Quand je suis enceinte [When I got pregnant]
  10. Monsieur Napoléon
  11. Romance de Princesse Zèlène [Romance of Princess Zelene]
  12. A la trois ans dans la prison [Three years in prison]
  13. Romance de la guerre [Romance of war]
  14. Pourquoi moin pleuré [When I Cry]
  15. Le malheureux jour pour moi [The sad day for me]
  16. Gouvernour Bovil [Governor Beauville]
  17. En avant sample
  18. Mesi, Papa Vensan [Thank you, Papa Vincent]
  19. Drums of the Sosyete Viyolon
  20. Kantik [Canticle]
  21. Kantik [Canticle]
  22. Announcement by Elizabeth Lomax

Disc: 7

  1. Yo mache ak wanga pou m pa sa mariye [They're using a magic charm to ke
  2. Madanm0yo ki mande mariye, napwen lajan [The women who ask to marry hav
  3. Demwazèl, na fe renmen [Young ladies, we'll make love]
  4. Ameli, wa di manma konsa [Amali, tell this to mama]
  5. Ou pa si bèl, ou pa si dous [You're not that pretty, you're not that sw
  6. Menaj mwen jalou, wap a manyen tete-m [My boyfriend is jealous, you're
  7. Kina, Kina, manman la mennen ou lantan [Kina, Kina, tt will take you on
  8. To, to, to, papa, ou se kannay [To, to, to, papa, you're a scoundrel]
  9. Mwen di yo, mwen pa wè moun lakay la [I'm telling them, I don't see peo
  10. Kite l ale tribinal [Let her go to the tribunal]
  11. Nou tout se moun
  12. Larivye bòde, lè pase [The river is overflowing when I need to cross]
  13. Twa fwa nan prey-o, Chanpay-o [Three times in the country, Champagne-o]
  14. Avan lamò se Grandyè nan syèl [Facing death, there is god in Heaven]
  15. Aye, ki gangan sila? [Aye is a good healer]
  16. Papa Legba Zandò
  17. Danbala-m se koulève-o [My Danbala is a snake]
  18. Fiyole pou Danbala
  19. Ayizan, Belekounde
  20. Agwe Tawoyo, m prale peche [Agwe Tawayo, I'm going fishing]
  21. O sen yo, le-le-o
  22. Ogou Badagri, si ou rete yon kote [Ogou Badagri, if yuo are living some
  23. Ogou-o nèg gè, fizil tire, m pa pè yo [Ogou, oh, man of war, the rifles
  24. Ezili, yon lwa ki rèd-o [Erzulie, a spirit who is tough]
  25. Ezili bon lwa, defensè-mwen [Erzulie, good spirit, my defense]
  26. Kandèl-o, frè Nago, kote ou ye [Candle, brother Nago, where are you?]
  27. Ayama Ibo le-le
  28. Gade nan mizè-a m tonbe [Look at misery I'm going through]
  29. Gedevi Yawe, se lwa mwen [Gede Yawe is my saint]
  30. Gede Nibo, yo fè rayi mwen [Gede Nibo, they hate me]
  31. Papa Pyè Badè Kiliso
  32. Badè vayan gason [Badè, valliant young man]
  33. Papa Gede, lanme kache, Rasin San Bout [Papa Gede, The Hidden Sea, Root
  34. Gougoun, mwen nan men w [Gougoun, I am in your heads]
  35. Mèt Kafou men djab-la [Master of the Crossroads, here is the devil]
  36. M ale nan simityè tout zonbi kouri dèyè mqwn [I went to the cemetery, a

Disc: 8

  1. Papa Legba ouvri baryè-a [Papa Legba, open the gate]
  2. Legba, wayan, wayan, m ale [Legba, lame on, I'm going]
  3. Fè salye, ewa, ewa, Legba bouke [Salute the king, the king, Legba is ti
  4. Mwen di Loko, mwen yanvalou mwen [I say Loko, my yanvalou]
  5. Papa Loko, pale petit-yo pou mwen [Papa Loko, talk to the children for
  6. Loko ma bia elouwe
  7. Danbala Wèdo Tokan Koulèv [Danbala Wèdo, sign of the snale]
  8. Danbala Wèdo, Ogous-o [Danbala Wèdo, wise one]
  9. Danbala Wèdo, chita-a, Siyan-o, Bondyè
  10. Bonswa Gran, bonswa zanfan-yo [Good morning Granny, good morning my chi
  11. Alouba, Alouba, nous mare-o [Alouba, Alouba, we're tied]
  12. Ezili-o, kote ou ye? [Erzulie, where are you?]
  13. Ayizan-o, laisse coule [Ayizan oh, let it flow]
  14. Ayizan, Ayizan-o, Ayizan marche [Ayizan, Ayizan oh, Ayizan walks]
  15. Ayizan, do, le, le
  16. Agasou-o, m pral nan Ginen [Agaou oh, I'm going to Guinea]
  17. Agasou, do m selère [Agasou, I'm hurrying]
  18. M prale wè mitans si ma degwe [I'm going to look at the center post to
  19. Nou la-e, Sobo, nou la-e [We're here, Sobo, we're here]
  20. Jouda-yo nonme nonm-mwen [The gossipers name my name, i.e. talk about m
  21. Li sa agonye-e [This is agony]
  22. Adamisou, bravo ougan mwen [Adamisou, bravo my priest]
  23. Tiyèt Marsèy na gade ounfo [Little Théoline Marseille, we'll guard the
  24. Konsole Laplas Ginen Konsole
  25. Gloria & prayer
  26. Christening of the drums, prayer
  27. Deployw dwapo gade wanman, nou la-e [Unfurl the flag, look Danbala, we'
  28. Sobo mande yon vèvè, drapo-sa elouwe [Sobo asks for a vèvè, this flag i
  29. Flavodou wanga siye
  30. Gabrieyèl-o, voudou, mwen-yea-o [Gabriel, you are my Voudou]
  31. Lafanmi sanble [The family assembles]
  32. Danbala Wèdo, dan ki sou mande salado
  33. Go-wi-en, Danbala Wèdo, go-wi-en-e [To a Sepòl rhythm]
  34. Wèdo, miwa-e [Danbala Wèdo, the mirror]
  35. Mi doulè, mi doulè la, Ayizan gid mwen [My sadness, my sadness there, A
  36. Dayome woy, ma sa nou de
  37. Koupe pou de gouden, Deliha, koupe donk [Screw for two bits, Beliha, sc
  38. Danbala Wèdo, ankò wi-en-e [Danbala Wèdo, again, wi-en-e]
  39. Li lè pou nou reploye drapo [It's time for us to furl the flags]
  40. Y ape kondi m ale [They are taking me away]
  41. Wo-o-o, me wi-en-e
  42. Ounsi malouk-o [Good for nothing initiative]
  43. Di sa Bondyèe-e [Say this, God]

Disc: 9

  1. Lisya-o, komè sa ou vle? [Lucia-o, godmother, what do you want?]
  2. Se pou chante-a, yo banmwen twa degout-o [For this song, they gave me t
  3. Padon, padon, map mande padon [Apology, I'm asking for an apology]
  4. Bare, bare, bare fanm [Caught! A Woman got caught!]
  5. tifi-a mete pantalèt [The young girl wears panties]
  6. Nan semityè pou m antere fanmi mwen [In the cemetery, I'll bury my fami
  7. Ogou Demanyè, nou wè Koyo, ye [Ogou Demanyè, we see Koyo, ye]
  8. Banm mwen lè mwen batonyè [Give me my tune, workers]
  9. Tomazo na prale [Going to Thomazeau]
  10. Dous-o, dous-o [Sweet, Sweet]
  11. Kite m ale, manman mwen [Let me go, mama]
  12. Lakonmin-o [The Commune]
  13. Mwen chache yoyo [I'm looking for some dick]
  14. Pinga w manyen manman [Doun't Touch Mama]
  15. Legba, I ouvri baryè-a pou mwen [Legba, open the gate for me]
  16. Larèn, Ti Jann, nou wè nou se deja Kongo [Queen Little Jeanne you see t
  17. Tiyiya, se way
  18. Rasin de, bwa, bwa [Two roots, wood, wood]
  19. Se mwen Rosinyól, sanba, mwen chante [That's me, nightingale, sanba, I
  20. Kou w vle mennan mwen [When you want to take me]
  21. Drumming of the Sosyete Wou
  22. Djouba and Kongo drumming
  23. Anmwe Nibo; m te pale ou [Help, Nibo, I'm talking to you]
  24. Viv o, m rele gouvenè [Long life! I'm calling out for the Governor]
  25. Leve rad, pou m konnen sa ou pote [Pull up your dress, so I can know wh
  26. Elèn kap kriye, bèt-la anraje l [Helen is crying, the bug is angry]
  27. Madanm Mariye, sa se dwol [A married woman is a peculiar thing]

Disc: 10

  1. Bonjou Papa Dambala, kouman ou ye
  2. Badè ounsi [Badè, devotee]
  3. Mape amnde ou padon [I'm asking your forgiveness]
  4. Ezili Freda, Sen Jwa-e [Erzulie Saint Joy-E]
  5. Ezili, kote ou ye [Ezili Freda, where are you?]
  6. Ogou Balendyo nèg politik [Ogou Badagri, political fellow]
  7. Azaka Gweliye, tonnè [Azaka, gwe-li-yi, damn it!]
  8. Azaka mande san-e [Azaka asks for blood]
  9. Kouman sa [How is this?]
  10. Kouman sa [How is this?]
  11. Ogou Fè mande sinyale-sa [Ogou Iron asks for a signal to be made here]
  12. Fè yon vèvè pou Danbala Wèdo [Trace a vèvè for Danbala Wèdo]
  13. Danbala Tokwan, ampe mande [Danbala Tokan, I'm asking]
  14. Pa jodi nou sou lanmè [We've been at sea for so long]
  15. Jodiya, se jou pa mwen [Today is my day]
  16. Ala yon bèl ti gason se Ogou Fè
  17. Drumming of the Sosyete Dereyal
  18. Ti Kita, bouyi non woy [Ti-Kita, get cooking]
  19. Ti Kita se pa konsa m konmande [Ti Kita, this is not how I command]
  20. Jan Kita, se mwen yo tele Kann Chèch-o [Jean Kita, it's me that they ca
  21. Ezili ma foula pou yo [Ezili, my scarf for them]
  22. Chanpay oke, krètyen pa krètyen pa krètyen anko [Champagne, okay, a Chr
  23. Lè minwit-o se lè mwen [Oh midnight, it's my hour]
  24. Sedye! Sedye O! [Cédieu! Oh! Cédieu!]
  25. Granbwa, manje w pare [Granbwa, you food is prepared]
  26. Zila lan peyi konga [Zila in the country of Kongo]
  27. Drumming-3 drums of the Sosyete Boumba
  28. Mwen salonge, Yaya mwen salonge
  29. Ezili si ou mande manje, map bayou li [Erzulie, you ask for food, I'll
  30. Lwa Zila, se sakre [The Iwa Zila is sacred]
  31. Fèyo-o, tele fèy-o [Leaf, oh, Leaf, oh]
  32. Makaya Penba, m vle wè yo [Makaya Pemba, I want to see them]
  33. Lenba, Lenba sou lemó [Lenba, Lenba over death]
  34. Granbwa-e manje ou pare [Granbwa, your food is prepared

Product details

  • Audio CD (November 24, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 10
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • ASIN: B002FOQY7C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,136 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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