Ernest ‘Nono’ Lamy took over the leadership of Super Orchestre Issa El Saieh around 1952.
He was a graduate of the Saint-Louis de Gonzague school in Port-au-Prince, and he had
played with François Guignard’s Jazz Guignard and Max Chancy’s orchestra before he
joined Issa’s band in February 1948, when Bebo Valdés left to go home to Cuba. Bebo
considered him to be the best Haitian pianist at the time. The present CD features four
numbers with Lamy’s band. It is interesting to compare them with the sound of the original
Issa orchestra. There is no question about the fact that Nono had his own musical ideas.
Budd Johnson is one of the most important musicians that brought about the transition from
swing to bop in the United States. He wrote for all the large big bands involved: Earl Hines,
Boyd Raeburn, Billy Eckstine, Woody Herman and Dizzy Gillespie and he played tenor with
all of them except Raeburn, and exactly like Billy Taylor he was a member of the first regular
bop combo, headed by Dizzy. Issa had met Budd in 1947 when he took music lessons in
New York from some of the members and ex-members of the Cab Calloway orchestra, and
he brought Budd to Haiti on several occasions, to arrange, play and record with his band.
Here we have included four numbers from 1955 with Budd as leader for a combo with
musicians from Issa’s orchestra and vocalists Rodolphe Legros and Joe Trouillot. All of them
demonstrate Budd’s amazing ability to adjust to new musical situations and they stand up well
when compared to the records he made back home around the same time.
The Cabane Choucoune Ensemble never existed as a regular band. It was the same group
as the one featured under the leadership of Wébert Sicot on Volume 4, a band that built on
the Cabane Choucoune orchestra led by Joe Trouillot, who had taken over what was left of
Issa’s old band from Nono Lamy, when the latter left to play in the Dominican Republic in
1955, reinforced with a couple of outside musicians. Joe is present as a singer and so is
René Dor who sings the lead on one of the tunes. Ti Marcel gets a chance to play a few
solos and Sicot is featured on alto.
The last number on the record was made in 1951, at the same time as some of the numbers
on an LP with folkloristic material that Issa put together for Capitol: Hi-Fi Haitian Drums,
released in 1957. It combines four of Haiti’s finest singers with the two leading tanbou
Mats Lundahl and Louis Carl Saint Jean