Henri Debs

The Henri Debs Story

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AllMusic Review by

The Henri Debs Story is a prime two-CD set and is his swan song. Included within the jacket are numerous photos that span his notable promotion of the music of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Originally from Lebanon, the great entrepreneur retired from recording after the release of this album. His studio was responsible for helping catapult zouk into international recognition in the 1980s and 1990s. This album is a fitting testimonial to his exceptional talent on piano and guitar and his compositional creativity. His musical influences run the gamut from beguine to cadence, Cuban bolero, cha cha, mambo, Brazilian samba, and of course zouk. His smoky languid voice is still good on this set, and he has help from the cream of the zouk crop -- the album features a who's who of zouk luminaries. His longtime collaborator, Max Severin, sings with him on several tracks. Debs (Monsieur Henri) had previously worked with all of the musicians on this two-CD set and helped to further their musical careers. He had also aided in the careers of countless other zouk artists during his 50 some years in the Guadeloupe and Martinique music scene. This double album is chock-full of poker-hot zouk and a few Cuban cha chas that steam right along. The music contained in this double album is the distilled musical experience of Debs, and it is a fine musical brew. In a musical world of sometimes undistinguished zouk, the music of Henri Debs stands out and endures. Au revoir, monsieur. Highly recommended.