Dede Saint-Prix / Dédé St. Prix

Melanj

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AllMusic Review by

Since returning to his native Martinique, DeDe Saint-Prix has mined the musical roots of his homeland to produce some outstanding albums. As the title states, this album is a true mélange, a potpourri of styles and rhythmic dance patterns. All the styles originate in chouval bwa, the music that was played at Carnival for the wooden horses of the carousel. Belair (or Bele) drumming is at the rhythmic heart of chouval bwa. Saint-Prix's voice and drumming are in excellent form, as are his instrumental chops. The call and response with the sweet sensual voice of Marie-Celine Chrone is especially mellifluous and rhythmic. The whole album's feel caresses one just like the trade winds, "Alizein" in French. The grooves are happy infectious riffs and licks that let you ride them effortlessly. The energy on the album continues unabated, rolling on and on track after track. It gives one an idea what a tireless, wired performer DeDe Saint-Prix is live on-stage. For longtime fans, there is no question of trying to find the album. For newcomers, start here and work your way back through the drummed deep grooves. This music is just as powerful a tourism lure as that postcard of beaches. Highly recommended.

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