Tried by poverty and violence long before the January 12th earthquake, Haiti is also a land of resilient-soul music. Vibrant merengue, carnival songs, vodou chants and the haunted-angel songs of a peasant girl, Francilia — Alan Lomax recorded it all and more, in the field in 1936-37. The recent and gorgeously annotated 10-CD box Alan Lomax in Haiti (Harte) is now a potent reminder of Haiti’s embattled spirit and folk art. Order at thehaitibox.blogspot.com, and $15 goes directly to earthquake relief.
[From Issue 1098 — February 18, 2010]