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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Dadou Pasquet

By Tom Orr
Published December 12, 2006

Dadou En Troubador
S.O.B.’s Music

Though it includes slightly icky instrumental versions of the Eagles’ “Hotel California” and Michael Jackson’s “Ben,” this is a pretty sweet representation of the down-home Haitian style known as troubador. Like Cuban son and changui, there is an African undercurrent present in troubador, along with melodic sensibilities brought by European (in this case French) colonizers. Guitarist and producer Dadou Pasquet is at the helm, his alternately bright and pensive strumming accompanied by simple but tight percussion, bass, a delicate sprinkling of modern production values and the sort of lovely vocals that exist despite the ongoing pain of life in contemporary Haitian society. When the source material is right—be it Haitian in nature like the chipper Tabou Combo song “New York City,” or such a judiciously chosen cover as Earl Klugh’s “Eponge”—the music burns quite brightly indeed. The resulting album offers both a sense of respect for deep roots in tradition, and more importantly, a warm tropical glow that would make Dadou en Troubador equally at home in a tourist bar’s jukebox or a serious Haitian music aficionado’s collection.