Friday, April 30, 2010

Ibo Lele

Here is a brilliant deep house song from Haitian born Jephte Guillaume. Ibo Lele is the name of the principal Lwa (spirit) contributed to the pantheon of Haitian Vodou by the Ibo People, it is commonly referred to as Ibo Granmoun. Granmoun means an adult, an elder, or (in Vodou) one who possesses spiritual wisdom. The term Ibo can refer directly to the Ibo nation, to Ibo Granmoun, or the the songs and dances of the Ibo nation performed in Vodou ceremonies. We must continue to take part in helping the people of Haiti. Jepthe is one of the many artists from this beautiful country in such great need of help. This song is the perfect example of the organic direction of deep house during the late '90s which gathered influences from disco to jazz-funk to Brazilian jazz. Jepthe moved to New Y0rk as a child during the Duvalier regime along with his family. Once settled, he began playing at an early age, taking bass while his brother Donald worked on drums. By the beginning of the '90s, the two bean recording with the Haitian-music group Rara Machine. Guillaume also played with the world collective Vodu 155, and with the post-bop acid jazz group Abstract Truth. Aside from his work in groups, Jepthe also began recording on his own and released his debut single, "One Respect", in 1994 for the house label Metropolitan. By 1997, "The Prayer" (his first single for Joe Claussells' Spiritual Life Music) became a massive underground house hit, driven by deep Latin vibes, acoustic guitar, and Guillaume's own vocals. Hot on his heels came a series of similar recordings ("Kanpe, "Lakou-A" and the song featured here " Ibo Lele" for Spiritual Life, each balancing Guillanume's knowledge of Caribbean grooves with the increasingly organic feel of New York house (thanks in part to Claussell's popular club-night Body & Soul where I first heard and danced to his music. His impressive album debut Voyage of Dreams appeared in 1998 and it encapsulates the feel of what house music was like in New York back in the late '90s. It's a total must have for house heads. Enjoy

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