Do you like the Haitian group Boukman Eksperyans? Then you’re in luck. Daniel Beaubrun, who was one of the driving forces behind the music on such albums as Libète (Pran Pou Pran’l!), along with Marjorie Beaubrun, one of Boukman’s singers and songwriters, have surfaced with a new band, and their sensibility is so reminiscent of the older group that it would be unusual if you enjoyed one without liking the other. Tou Manbre is an album of mellow, reggae-influenced, Haitian Afro-rock with touches of old-school electric guitar and keyboard. Listening to songs like “Marinèt”, I can imagine Lataye coming on late in the evening at the end of a long festival and giving the audience, caught in a mood of tired hyperactivity, a reason to wind down. People would settle, sway along with their neighbours, chant the choruses, and depart in a spirit of genial good fellowship. It’s not an outstanding album, but not a bad one either.
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// Notes from the Road
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