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Reginald PolicardMonday, August 28 2006 - Reginald Policard's visibility on the music scene since the turn of the Century (2000) has been heightened by a series of new solo musical works that, although embedded in the a kind of advanced version of our traditional kompa music, deserves a special attention due to the exceptional quality of his arrangements and the originality of his methods.

The passage of time continued to unfold Policard's creative ingenuity as he released "Detour" a few months ago. The material on this CD is quite new to the pianist's repertoire and the CD will probably be considered as a milestone in his solo career. This is another entry in his growing discography that represents an expanding musical universe. The newly CD provides an opportunity to listen to 8 titles composed and arranged, by RP. His music is alive, vibrant and progressive as ever. In fact, the pianist is transitioning into a more complex Jazz structure. This is a delight for jazz aficionados who mostly foresaw this changeover with the release of "Traditions" last year. " DETOUR " is a successful attempt to capture finer lines and new forms to move Haitian Jazz a few miles further. As the listener will notice at once the pianist rapturous performance sparkles with verve, life, and imagination. He provides a strong undercurrent while leaving space to his partners to tell their "stories". This is also a landmark album because of the title track " Detour ". Indeed, RP used (maybe for the first time) programmatic features on his synthesizers to smartly build the entire rhythm section. Quite amazing result in a pure Pat Metheny legacy… the track distance also has that Metheny/Mays flavor.

Speaking of the rhythm section, the duo Widmaer/Barbot is awesome and omnipresent in subtle touches. Their solos on "Grand Rivière" are both reviving and soothing. The elusive play of Joel is a brilliant testimony of his maturity as a drummer. It goes without saying that the remarkable interpretation of All Blues is to be credited to the artistry of RP as well as the sparkling groove of Barbot. The transposition of the jazz modal structure in Kompa is done in a quite successful manner and one can feel that miles atmosphere recreated by the brass line. I will not go through all the tracks leaving to the listener the pleasure of discovering this detour in RP's music.

I mention the presence of a very talented guitar player named Jimmy Jean Félix, whom solos on "Boarding Pass" and "Detour" are really works of art. Very impressive in his playing with a perfect control of speed, he exhibits beauty and colors in the spirit of Wes Montgomery School. I wish he could be more present on this album.

Reginald Policard has been playing for years with the same musicians who represent the core of his group. Together, they have reached today a kind of unique language and originality that come from long rehearsal hours, hard work and perseverance. After almost thirty years of Kompa, RP is venturing into new avenues and, as jazz lovers, we are delighted of such a deviation.

Highly recommended and a listening pleasure!

Alphonse Piard, Jr.
Monday, August 28, 2006


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