Combining soulful blues with traditional Haitian music, saxophonist Alix "Buyu" Ambroise creates a session filled with heartfelt spirit and founded on lively Latin rhythms. The program moves smoothly through lyrical melodies and mournful airs. Hence, his Latin jazz program folds in the best of both worlds.
Ambroise's soulful saxophone lead replaces the chant of traditional music. Through his instrument, he "chants" with deep, religious feeling. Trombone, piano and bassin turnimprovise with sensuality. The timbral combination of tenor saxophone and trombone works every time out. Here, they're enhanced considerably by a vast array of Latin percussion and the band's rolling waves of sound.
"Kouzen," a delightful waltz with an upbeat tempo, finds tenor and trombone wailing passionately. The band drives this one forward with soul. Paul Beaudry's forceful contrabass rings true with a constant reminder that this music belongs to the world. An exotic arrangement of "Caravan" features some hearty soloing and a blazing fast rhythmic romp. "Minouch" lifts the session gently with a salsa attitude, while "Complainte Paysanne" oozes with soul.
"Konviksyon" combines with the album's opening piece, "Dessalinienne," to bookend the program with two lovely ballads. Ambroise works with vocal-like statements to deliver a passionate session filled with melody and tinged with traditional spirits.
Personnel: Buyu Ambroise- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Dion Tucker- trombone; Frederic Las Fargeas- piano; Paul Beaudry- double bass; Obed Calvaire- drums. Khalil Kwame-Bell- percussion; Fito Vivien- Kata drums; Alix "Tit" Pascal- guitar on "Konviksyon;" James "Tiga" Jean-Baptiste- Haitian drums & vocal on "Konbit Zaka;" Emedin Rivera- Latin percussion on "Minouch."