Henri Debs

Le Defi

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Henri Debs has had a virtual monopoly on music that is produced on the island of Guadeloupe for quite a few years. He is also a capable piano player, guitarist, and vocalist. He has his finger on the best of the older styles of music from the island, for example, biguine, and also on the pulse of what is currently happening in the French Antillean music scene. On this album, he teams up again with vocalist Max Severin, whose smoky sensual voice is perfectly suited to the melange of styles featured in this enjoyable album. The repertoire ranges from zouk, guajira, cha-cha, tango, bolero, biguine, and bossa nova. What is pleasing and remarkable is that the musicians move from one style to another with tropical ease and aplomb. Because his studios record some of the best names in Guadeloupean music, he has many of them on his albums. This album is no exception. The guajira "Yo Enme Repete" has all the heat and steam of the best salsa being produced in Cuba, Puerto Rico, or Colombia. The same thing goes for the guajira creole "Ase Pale." The zouk cut of note is "Je Reviens Vers Toi Seignuer" with Gilles Floro, Pascal Vallot, Yves Honore, and Pipo Gertrude contributing backing vocals. There is not much filler here. Overall, a well-executed album with a wide variety of musical styles. If you don't have any of Henri Debs' albums, this is as good a place as any to start. Recommended.

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