Haiti Direct: Big Band, Mini Jazz & Twoubadou Sounds, 1960-1978 Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: The compilation of Haitian dance music from the 1960s and '70s including music styles such as Compas Direct, Mini-Jazz and twoubadou.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. What comes across most is the sheer unbridled enthusiasm expressed in the complex, racing rhythms, squalling sax solos, twanging electric guitar and crooning vocals.
  2. Feb 6, 2014
    90
    Compiled by Sofrito's Hugo Mendez, Haiti Direct is an amazing collection from Haiti's illustrious but sadly unsung musical history.
  3. Apr 1, 2014
    90
    There are countless high points, memorable moments and addictive grooves on these two discs, and Haiti Direct is most certainly already a candidate for compilation of the year.
  4. Feb 6, 2014
    80
    Making up for lost time, Strut have produced a collection that’s broad in scope, detailed in its sleevenotes and packed with a raft of outstanding music.
  5. Feb 6, 2014
    80
    Fantastic stuff. [Feb 2014, p.102]
  6. Feb 18, 2014
    80
    The groundbreaking compilation Haiti Direct gathers 27 tracks from those decades: big bands with jubilant horn sections (including the one led by the compas pioneer Nemours Jean Baptiste); “mini jazz” bands that replaced horn sections with guitars; rock bands with a psychedelic streak; small twoubadou (troubadour) groups and more.
  7. Feb 10, 2014
    80
    The musicians on this compilation are a testament to the creativity, dynamism and exuberance of the Haitian people.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. May 13, 2014
    7
    Like all compilations albums that attempt to represent fairly diverse musical styles in one record, Haiti Direct is slightly inconsistent. That's not to say that the songs themselves range from good to bad, only that most listeners are not likely to love the entire record. 18 years is a long time in the evolution of popular musical after all. However, anyone who likes world music will probably find a lot to love. I know I did. I'm much more attracted to the earlier cuts with their slightly dark, funky, surf meets Fela vibe. The deep grooves of some cuts, such as "Compas X" and "Ti Lu Lupe," leave me breathless and drooling. Others, like "Jive Turkey" (is that "Hotel California"?) are not nearly as inspiring.

    Basically, I've listened to the first half of this album over and over, and if I was rating the first 14 tracks only, this piece would be an easy 9. Still, I find myself repeating many of the same songs and not venturing into the second half too often. I'm much more likely to start the record over than to pick up where I left off.
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