Various Artists

Edition Pierre Verger: Islands of the Sun - From Haiti to Trinidad

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From Haiti, Trinidad, Guadalupe, and Puerto Rico come a series of pieces from the Caribbean region. Islands of the Sun -- From Haiti to Trinidad opens up with a marathon session of steel band music, followed immediately by the relatively rare gwo ka style from Haiti, an old slave form used originally for communication across languages. Bata drumming from Cuba makes a quick appearance (and will again later in the album, along with some chanting to Elegua). A handful of compas songs come and go, mixed in with more steel band and another musical rarity of sorts: aguinaldo from Puerto Rico. The music performed here isn't generally by the big names in the various styles, or even necessarily the best players. Nonetheless, the rarities you'll hear on this album are something worthwhile. Haitian albums will normally be full of compas and merengue, Puerto Rican albums will be full of modern pop, jibaro, and some random conjunto groups playing an assortment of other pieces. Give it a listen for the rarities, but the other pieces aren't too bad either.

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