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Album Review

Marronnage features some of the best vocalists on the French Antillean music scene. Pipo Gertrude, Edith Lefel, Sylviane Cedia, Marijose Alie, Jean-Philippe Marthely, Dede St. Prix, and Valerie Odina are all here. The classic Malavoi sound is there, although the albums recorded after their zenith, Matebis, do not quite match the genius and incredible beauty of the earlier titles from the 1980s through 1992. Their sound combines the rhythms of Martinique with the Cuban charanga and a nod to Brazil. One of the appealing things about the music of Malavoi is that the changes from Martiniquan dance forms to Cuban mambo to samba is seamless. The extraordinary ability to weave these changes together is a hallmark of groups from the French Antilles. There are some standout tracks here like "Tomaline," "Zou," "Simin Pou Recolte," "Sonao," and "Ti Tan La." Not a masterpiece, but an enjoyable, varied album and one that Malavoi devotees should have.


Formed: 1972

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Led by Martiniquan pianist Paulo Rosine, Malavoi has been recording since the late '60s. The original band featured a horn section and consisted mainly of Latin music enthusiasts. The band added a string section in the late '70s and recorded a superb album of charanga-style music that included percussion by Dede St. Prix. Only this one album captured the brief period when Malavoi had both a horn section and a string section; the horns left soon afterward. An anthology of hits from this era is now...
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Marronage, Malavoi
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