Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What About Haitian Piano from 1952?

Fabre Duroseau will not be a name you know. He recorded an EP of Haitian piano music that ended up on a 10-inch Folkways LP in 1952. It also came out on one or two 78s, because I found one of then at my local junk shop in 1967. I was a kid trying to open my musical horizons as widely as I could. This one took a while to appreciate fully. Not because it isn't good, it just was so different to what I had heard.

That music can still be found at the Smithsonian Institute's Folkways site, either as a download or a cd-rom. In fact the entire Folkways catalog is available.

Fabre Duroseau's solo-trio piano record is perhaps like nothing else you have been hearing. It's basically meringues as were done in Haiti at the time, only transposed to a very animated and hot piano style. Half the songs are done solo, the other half with two equally lively violinists. Stride and boogie-woogie have some influence. It's like what Meade Lux Lewis or Jelly Roll Morton might have played had they been born and raised in Haiti. It's delightful! If you seek something different, this is most definitely that.

Google Smithsonian Folkways to find their site.

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