barabara sounds sez:
Haiti has been in our minds a lot since that terrible earthquake. I know so little about the country, the people and the music that this album is just about my only point of reference. It was put together by a group of musicians who were brought over in 1999 to play a series of gigs around the Tokyo area. I caught them in a tiny club in Hiratsuka, southwest of Tokyo, and hung with them a bit after the gig. It was a great show and they were fine folks. This album was recorded live, and it's pretty much the way I heard them.
Like the musicians themselves, the music is an amalgam, fused together from roots, roots rhythms, hints of Cuban and reggae, and jazz. The Haitian musicians — on guitar, bass, conga and tambour — were joined by local pianist Michiko Tatsuno. Some of it doesn't really hang together too well, but other bits work just fine, especially the vodou/voodoo drumming of Bonga (he once toured with Grace Jones) and Sergo.
It's an awful long way — culturally more than geographically — between Japan and Haiti, so the title of this album/aggregation is right on the money. We know all about earthquakes here, but can only guess at the chaos that's going on right now over there. Even if we can't help out directly, here's a simple way to contribute on-line...