Press Article on Jazzwise (UK) about the vinyl “Death in Haiti”
Jean Toussaint’s ‘Mandingo Brass’, a highlight of his excellent gig at Ronnie Scott’s last month, was a timely reminder of the richness of the marching band tradition in the
Caribbean. This engaging album shines a spotlight on the most revolutionary island in the region, Haiti, and celebrates the striking exponents of that sound that accompanies last rites. Recorded in the capital Port Au Prince by renowned sound engineer Felix Blume, the music can be seen as part of the far-reaching tradition of field recordings, which is intended to give a clear idea of the attendant socio-cultural context. Edited from 15 hours of audio collected from 15 funeral processions across 5 churches, the songs are laments
of a deep emotional charge, with the languorous dirges delivered with the right blend of emphasis and restraint, as the billowing sousaphones and clattering snare drums fit smartly into a pleasingly wide dynamic range. The inclusion of speeches and humourous anecdotes recounted at the ceremonies adds to the sense of an essential cultural portrait in fine detail.
Kevin Le Gendre