PAULINE JEAN - A MUSICAL OFFERING | A Collection of Exquisite Ballads Under a
Vocalist, Pauline Jean's first CD is a collection of buoyant ballads that embody the pluralistic aspect of her cultural background. Gifted with a beautiful "hoarsely contralto" that would naturally drives her to a jazz singing career, she uses both English and Creole to convert stories into sounds and colors that depict various states of her soul which partly, still wanders in the meanders of her Haitian roots.
My first reaction after listening to a few tracks was to look for influences of well known singers. I tried to relate her album to some of my past experiences as a listener to measure the scope of her skills and the truthfulness of her art. To a certain degree, one can feel some influences here and there especially when we refer to the new generation of divas such as Cassandra Wlison, Diane Reeves. But as I drenched myself into Pauline's opus, I realised this music had its own meaning, as virtue of the richness of her own experience as a singer, a composer and arranger. Her melodies compels to the listener because they speak to the heart.
"A Musical Offering" is a call to say I exist, I love music and I want to celebrate life through that collection of ballads which brillantly expresses the dual legacy of her cultural identity. Pauline is a citizen of the world who proudly bears a two-fold identity that transpires in her pride to honor Haitian diva Toto Bissainthe (Dèy/Rasanbleman) as well as prolific composers such as Irving Berlin (Blue Skies/Ciel Bleu). And in that kind of tribute to the black diaspora culture, she chose Jazz Music, the most powerful art form created by Black people to exorcise their suffering. Simply divine….
Alphonse Piard, Jr.
September 20, 2010