Haitian-born singer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Beaubrun is back again with his fourth recording project, Rasanbleman (Red Moon). This live studio recording includes exciting renditions of Beaubrun’s compositions performed previously with his roots-reggae band, Zing Experience. Although the album presents an array of Beaubrun’s prolific work, Rasanbleman is more than just a mere collection of songs. It is a representation of unity, familial, and communal ties among Haitian artists.
The original idea for this album came about while on tour with Zing Experience. Beaubrun says, “We had been performing these songs live and decided we needed to record them. Many people knew our songs, so we wanted to make them accessible to people for their enjoyment.” After much thought and planning with manager Emma Griffith, he decided to record the album at the Audio Institute recording studio in Jacmel, Haiti. According to Beaubrun, “the intention to record in Jacmel was to bring a different light in the country...it was a way to highlight the different music scenes all around Haiti. That is why it was important for me to showcase the many talented artists, producers, and sound engineers in Jacmel.” In order to accomplish this personal mission, Beaubrun brought together a group of prominent Haitian artists which included Jean Caze and many other collaborators from the Bayo Tour.
The title Rasanbleman has a very interesting story behind it. The Haitian term ‘rasanbleman’ means a large ‘gathering’ or the coming together of a large group of people. For Beaubrun and his contemporaries, the word captures the events of the night before the recording session as Beaubrun and fellow Haitian artists, producers, and engineers congregated for a beautiful beach dinner. Their evening activities were soon interrupted when a rainstorm forced them to seek shelter under a tent. While huddled together in close quarters they engaged in deep conversations about the hopes and aspirations of Haitian artists, and how they could contribute to the further proliferation and dissemination of Haitian musical and cultural practices in the global society. After the rain ceased, they saw a beautiful Red Moon (known as a Blood Moon). It was that moment of communing under a lunar phenomenon that would later become the symbol and appropriate title of the album, Rasanbleman.
Featured on the album are ten invigorating tracks that showcase the energy and synergy between Beaubrun and his supporting cast. The album opens with the reggae-oriented composition, “Vodou Ceremony,” which incorporate the percussion rhythms of the Haitian drums (tanbou) and the call-and-response vocal dialogue between Beaubrun and his backing vocals. Listeners are treated to lively renditions of notable hits “Legba Blues,” “Ayizan,” and “Kay La Mande Wouze, as well as a highly spirited performance of “Ma Woule,” featuring Caze who delivers a dynamic melodic trumpet solo. Another gem on the album is the uptempo “Simbi Dlo,” a dedication to the spirit of the rivers, Simbi, co-written by Beaubrun and singer Malou Beauvoir.
Beaubrun slows it down for an expressive and soul-stirring acoustic performance of his thought-provoking “Dim Kijan.” Switching gears to a faster pace, he gives us an oldie from his earlier days with Zing Experience on his vibrant rendition of “Zing Nati Zing.” In keeping the musical energy high, Beaubrun transitions into a jubilant performance of “Gade Sa Yo Fem” featuring an outstanding performance of mizik rasin (roots music) mixed with spontaneous instrumental and vocal improvisations.
The album closes on a sentimental note with “Kabik (Red Moon),” a recording that encapsulates the evening Beaubrun and fellow artists huddled together under a tent, singing and celebrating their unity under a red moon.
released April 17, 2020
Paul Beaubrun - Guitar, Lead Vocal
Chico Boyer - Bass, Backup Vocal
Morgan Zwerlein - Haitian Drums, Backup Vocal
Peter Barr - Drums
Bwagri - Haitian Drums
Jean Caze - Trumpet
Michael Brun - DJ/Producer
Gardy Girault - DJ/Producer
Mixed by Justin Meli
Mastered by Dale Russell
Recorded January 21, 2019 at Artist Institute, Jacmel, Haiti
Creative director: Ouigi Theodore
Graphic Designer: Matt Gorton
a unique and transfixing sound he calls 'roots/blues', paul weaves his impeccable guitar skills, rich, vocals, musical
ingenuity and cultural history together; all while performing a smooth melange of both english, french and creole (the native tongue of his haitian roots)....more