Various Artists

Couleur Compas, Vol. 1

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As a quick introduction to one of the Caribbean's greatest dance musics, it would be tough to beat these two CDs. Between them they have at least one song each by pretty much everybody who's been anybody over the last couple of decades: Coupé Cloué, Skah Shah #1, Tabou Combo, Magnum Band, DP Express, Dixie Band, System Band, Dadou Pasquet (of the Magnum Band and the DP Express), Les Frères Dejean, Les Gypsies de Pétionville, Djet X, Risqué and the Mini All-Stars among a bunch of others. Compas, mini-jazz, whatever: the Haitian sound(s) is/are the most consistently satisfying of any that the Caribbean has produced in the last quarter-century.