Dédé St. Prix

Chouval Bwa Sans Frontiers

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DeDe St. Prix, master drummer and flutist from Martinique, won the 1996 French SACEM award for the best traditional music album for Chouval Bwa Sans Frontieres. He is a tireless performer who churns out an unbelievable amount of energy at live shows. It is one of his best efforts, on a par with Leve/Arrete Ton Delire from 1992. This album seems to have a renewed vigor that coincides with DeDe St. Prix's return to his native Martinique in 1996 where he not only composes but also teaches traditional drumming to the young. "Chouval Bwa" is Creole for "wooden horse." This is the hobbyhorse music of traditional Martiniquan culture. Human hands turned the carrousel and the musicians would play in the center. In this album, this music is brought brilliantly to life so that listeners can hear what is still a very vital form of music in Martinique. The percussion and flute interplay is extraordinary. The rhythms weave and bob under, over, around, and through the melody lines. The wood on wood has you moving before you know it. The instrumental version of "Chelche" reminds one of the Breton influence nestled in the music of the French Antilles. "Fuerza y Vigor,"("Force and Vigor") is an anthem to all Caribbean and South American music. The TNT explodes at the outset of the album and continues unabated. Highly recommended.

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