Album Review of
Haiti Mwen Renmenw
Natalie Jean

Written by Mark Gallo
October 15, 2017 - 12:00am EDT
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Natalie Jean is one of the leading practitioners of this exciting percussion driven magical music from Haiti. This is modern music, not 50 year old traditional music. Following the wildly exciting “Smoking Ke Fan” and a more fiery “An Selebre Papa Dambalah” with gorgeous jazz phrasing, she sings “Lape,” a song with perfect phrasing and clever “sounds.” “Endepandans” is upbeat and sounds celebratory. Her voice is powerful and exceptional emotive. On “Saut-D’Eau” the groove is South American and wholly hypnotic. “Marabou” is balladic. Though the words may be unfamiliar she draws us in with the implied meaning. The title cut, “Haiti” is as percussively propelling as one might imagine. The final song, “L’Amour A L’Infini” is sung in French. Same power. There is a growl in her voice at times that is tantalizing. The sustained notes are brilliant. The album is likewise brilliant.