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Sunday, November 22, 2015

065° BEL BIGUINE LA - selected by Les Mains Noires

At last! At last a new French West Indies compilation! And not the least!
We are very happy and quite proud to present “Bel Biguine La”, a special selection focusing on rare early Biguine dirty recordings from Guadeloupe and Martinique from late 50s and 60s!

12 rare tracks accompanied by liner notes about the songs, the musicians and the incredible Disques Emeraude, very first record label to record Guadeloupian music in Guadeloupe and run by Robert Mavounzy’s brother, Marcel Mavounzy.

At last! At last a new French West Indies compilation! And not the least!
We are very happy and quite proud to present “Bel Biguine La”, a special selection focusing on rare early Biguine dirty recordings from Guadeloupe and Martinique from late 50s and 60s!

12 rare tracks accompanied by liner notes about the songs, the musicians and the incredible Disques Emeraude, very first record label to record Guadeloupian music in Guadeloupe and run by Robert Mavounzy’s brother, Marcel Mavounzy.


01° Raymond Cicault // Appréciation De La Biguine (Debs DD-36, 196?)
02° Les Viking's // Diriz Et Poisson (Emeraude EM-30, 1967)
03° Manuela Pioche // Pas Ban Moin Coup (Emeraude EM-012, 1957)
04° Joseph Lacides // Fété Cannaval La (Debs HD-6, 1961)
05° Orchestre Caraibana // Plus Ta Plus Tris (Madinina MID4, 195?)
06° Joseph Lacides // Yo Ka Biguiné (Aux Ondes RC.3, 1961)
07° Robert Mavounzy // Adans On Vide (Emeraude M.43, 1958)
08° Honoré Coppet // Prends Courage (Odéon SOE3446, 1959)
09° Barrel Coppet // Pas Oublié Ti Commission La (Philips 432.797, 1962)
10° Robert Mavounzy // Roulez Roulez A Zote (Emeraude EM-003, 1957)
11° Josianne St Louis // Jeines Gaçons (Aux Ondes RC.5, 1961)
12° Mahy // Priere Noire (West Indies Sound VAR04, 196?)


Until the early 50s, all the creole records were produced and recorded in Paris by majors like Columbia, Pathé-Marconi, Odeon, etc… The musicians were, between others, Sam Castendet, Eugène Delouche, Alexandre Stellio, Al Lirvat. Honoré Coppet track and the other from his brother Barrel Coppet are perfect example of those metropolitan recordings even if they are from late 50s and early 60s.
Willing to promote music and culture from Guadeloupe, Marcel Mavounzy – little brother of the famous saxophonist Robert Mavounzy - decides to make the first phonographic recording in the French West-Indies. On the 16th of April 1953, he records with rudimentary equipment, in a woodworking site, a first 78rpm featuring Paul-Emile Haliar et son orchestre Jeunesse on a side and the Orchestre Esperanza Jazz on the other. The record label Disques Emeraude was born!


A great emulation and a great excitation between the Guadeloupians musicians has followed. They were all crazy to be recorded, to hear them on record and be able to correct their play! Emilien Antille, Paul Blamar, Robert Mavounzy, El Calderon, Anzala, Robert Loyson, Velo, Orchestre Fairness, Alain Jean-Marie, Les Vickings, etc… they all have been recorded by Marcel Mavounzy.


Those records are pretty tricky to find, the 78rpm… something close from impossible. We’ve been lucky enough to put our hands and a few ones, presented here, in this selection. Being based on the catalog number, the earliest recording presented here is from Robert Mavounzy et ses Guadeloupéens and the track we’ve selected is “Roulez Roulez A Zote”, a Biguine-vidé – that type of Biguine that is being played for Carnival – and features singer Daniel Florestal. According to Marcel Mavounzy himself, this recording is from the 16th of March 1957.

Apparently from 1957 too, “Pas Ban Moin Coup” is such a beautiful, deep and sad Biguine sung by Manuela Pioche accompanied by Alain Gervais and the Emeraude Boys. The lyrics of this song are:

Pas ban moin coup, bel boureau !
Pas ban moin coup, doudou !
Pas ban moin coup,
Pas cassé deux jambes an moin !
Pas ban moin coup,
Pas cassé deux bras an moin !
Jou-la ou pale baan-là,
Ou té savé, an cé on fame à bôdé.


Do not beat me, beautiful executioner !
Do not beat me, honey !
Do not beat me,
Do not break both my legs !
Do not beat me,
Do not break both my arms !
The day you spoke to me,
You knew that I liked to have fun.


But what also makes this 7inch very special is that those Emeraude Boys features the pianist Alain Jean-Marie, he was 15 years old at that time and this is his very first recording!
Speaking of first recordings, the other Robert Mavounzy track presented here, “Adans On Vide”, Biguine-vidé from 1958, is quite a piece of history. As you can see on the label-sticker, the singer credited is a certain Henri. Any ideas? Yes, of course, It is Henri Debs – who will then open the famous record label Disques Debs - singing and being recorded for the first time! And according to him, the members of the Guadeloupéens – the band accompanying Robert Mavounzy – was composed of Henri Pineau (trumpet), Guy Alcindor (tenor sax), Fred Fanfant (piano), André Condouant (guitar), Henri Debs (double bass), Robert Joseph (drums), and of course Robert Mavounzy on Sax Alto.

Definitely, so many things started with or because of Marcel Mavounzy and his record label Emeraude! He opened a new space and new perspectives for the Guadeloupians musicians and showed the way for producers like Debs and Celini in Guadeloupe or Hit Parade in Martinique. Actually, in front of the success in Guadeloupe, Marcel Mavounzy decided to create Emeraude’s Martinican equivalent; Madinina. Named after the former name of the island, the record label unfortunately did not last long. By chance, we’ve been lucky enough to put our hands on the 4th release of this Madinina label. Featured in this selection, he presents the Orchestre Caraibana interpreting the beautiful melancholic Biguine “Plus Ta Plus Tris”.

The fourth Emeraude recording presented in the selection is from ten years later, in 1967. It is the first recording by the young band Les Vikings. Originally formed by Camille Soprann Hildevert, Guy Jacquet, Pierre-Edouard Decimus, Widdly Haliar and Jacques Loulandeau, they have then made countless recordings and releases. In 1979, after some problems, the band has been reformed on the initiative of Pierre-Edouard Decimus, Guy Jacquet and Jacob Desvarieux to become Kassav, internationally renowned band. Camille Soprann Hildevert is now a renowed saxophonist jazz player and has been recently compiled on the great Kouté Jazz compilation by Digger’s Digest and released on Heavenly Sweetness.


To finish, we can only conclude deeply thanking Mr Marcel Mavounzy for having dedicated his life to Guadeloupian music and culture, for having created this record label that allows us, almost 60 years later, to rediscover those amazingly beautiful recordings.

We personnaly want to deeply and sincerely thanks Nico Skliris and Superfly Records for their amazing job! Nothing of this would be possible without their help and discoveries! Hats down Sirs!

And now, well, we hope that you enjoyed this selection as much as us and, on our side, we'll keep searching and digging with the hope of finding some more 7 inches and those still mysterious 78 rpm!

Cheers!

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