Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: HMI World
|Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:27 am Post subject: REGINALD POLICARD OF CARIBBEAN SEXTET FAME (JAN 2002)!
Interview conducted by Patrick Desvarieux
INTERVIEW WITH REGINALD POLICARD (MASTER KEYBOARDIST/COMPOSER)
KM: Reginald, tell us about your new record "Serenite". What was the inspiration behind it? How long did it take you to record this project? What message do you hope to get through with this record?
Reginald: It could have been called "Ballade" which means in French "Promenade" taking a ride. Let myself go. With one L is used to describe ( mostly in jazz music) a music very slow we will come back some other time to that subject. It took me three months for the recording. However it took me months for the recording and the arrangements.
KM: Reginald, why does it take you so long to record a new CD? It's very painful for your fans to have to wait that long for a Reginald Policard CD. (LOL)
R.P.: I cannot place the order and have my inspiration delivered the next day in Haiti where we are living a very special life. On top of that, I'm very busy with the stores Monday to Saturday until 7'oclock. What I have left is shared between my family and my music.
KM: Do you think this is your best solo record yet? Why or why not?
R.P.: It's a tough question. My wife whose has always been a witness of my work thinks it's my best CD. Personally I don't disagree because "Serenite" reflects the mood and the emotion that I feel. "Lese mwen viv" (my first solo album) and my third "Sa ce trop" mean a lot to me. We'll come back to that some other time
KM: I see you have a remake of your song "Chita Tande" on the new record. Why? Is there any reason behind that move?
R.P.: "Chita Tande" is one of my favorite compositions. I wanted to give it a better chance and bring it to a higher level.
KM: On your solo records, it seems like you've gotten away more and more from the Compas. Why? Is it that Reginald Policard no longer has any interest in playing Compas? Your first solo record had "Mwin pa sou Bloff" among other things. Your second record had "Si'w Vin Avem", your third and fourth, the Compas is gone. Could it be that Compas no longer inspires you?
R.P.: There are many answers to your questions
First I will never stop playing konpa because I enjoy it. My conception of konpa is maybe different from a lot of people. To me konpa is first a rhythm, and you can play it lots of ways by using other forms of harmony. The chords can change a lot of things in music. For example Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri still are strong in salsa that does not have any negatives effects on the dancers.
I think that there are many traditional songs, which deserve also a special attention and to another extent, a different treatment. So I m very interested in that kind of music now. There are hundreds of groups playing konpa not enough playing other things. And of course we should next time talk about konpa, jazz (which I play) Fusion- Soul-Funky etc
KM: What is Reginald Policard's favorite composition from his SOLO records? Explain why.
R.P.: Tough question I love them all especially "Decide-w", "Chita tande", "Sa se trop", "Fin de Siecle" and most on the recent album.
KM: What is Reginald Policard's favorite composition from his Caribbean Sextet days? Explain why.
R.P.: From Caribbean Sextet: Ti Jule and Ou ale. It's difficult to explain why this one more than an other one
KM: Reginald, a lot of people have been begging for a Caribbean Sextet reunion CD and tour. When do you see that happening and why hasn't it been done a long time ago? The fans are begging. (LOL)
R.P.: I feel the same about a reunion. The only problem is to have everybody together. Some of them are away.
KM: What about a "Live" Caribbean Sextet CD for release? That I'm sure would be a great addition to any music collection. I'm willing to pay for it. (LOL) I am sure the interest is there from any producer you speak to. How possible is it?
R.P.: That also could be possible
KM: Why did Caribbean Sextet break up or stopped playing together? The band stopped way too early.
R.P.: So many bands after many years stopped playing. In Caribbean Sextet's case it was mostly a matter of priority. As I said before, I'm involved in other activities. Some other members of the band as well.
KM: All three main members of the band (You, Toto and Boulo) seem to be doing really well right now in your solo careers. What do you think about that? Any thoughts on Toto and Boulo's solo records?
R.P.: I think that we (all three) activated what we really wanted.
KM: Who was Reginald Policard's music idol when he was growing up? Why?
R.P.: Many Chick Corea- Antonio Carlos Jobim- Bill Evans some groups like Ibo Combo Les Corvington Eddie Palmieri etc.
KM: What do you think of the state of Haitian music right now as compared to say 20 years ago when you were more involved? Has it changed for the best or for the worst?
R.P.: Musically speaking a lot of things have not changed in konpa. We still use the same harmonies that we used in the 60'S. Instead of the sax or the guitar, the keyboard took the role of the soloist. In some cases you can even (guess) the inspiration of the instrumentalist.
KM: Do you like any band from the new generation?
KM: What do you think of your sons (Jeff and Gaetan) getting involved in the business as Ti Doz? Any truth to the rumor that you do not want them to play Compas music? In other words, is it true that you would rather have them play classic music just like yourself? Why or why not?
R.P.: As you said "Rumor", let's be serious I've been playing Konpa for many years what about Ti Jules- Pouki Sa from my recent CD? As far as I'm concerned it's konpa. You can call it Jazz on fusion if you want however the rhythm is konpa. Speaking of my sons- there has never been any interdiction to that matter. Please please don't mix up things. I always encouraged my sons (and I still do) to listen to jazz music like I did when I was 15 so they can find better chords to use in konpa. As a matter of fact I helped there many ways for their first CD.
KM: Some people say that had Reginald Policard gotten more involved in Ti Doz's career ( just like Robert Martino does or did with T-Vice when they first started) Ti Doz would be more popular right now because of your talent and connections in the business. What do you have to say about that?
R.P.: Jeff and Gaetan are in College right now. Jeff is on his third year and Gaetan his first. Studies should be the priority.
KM: How much input does Reginald have in Ti Doz?
R.P.: I can't choose the type of music they want to play but I give them some advice
KM: Reginald, can our music cross over to other markets (especially the American market) the same way that Reggae has? Why and why not?
R.P.: Yes if we use French lyrics or English why not we'll have a better exposure. Can you imagine the amount of Haitians who live in Canada and USA? Why not- The marketing aspect.
KM: Have you ever thought about getting involved in the production business of the industry just like Nouvel Jenerasyon, Antilles Mizik, Crossover or Geronimo records? Why or why not? Would you make a difference you think in the way our music is marketed?
R.P.: I'm a musician not a producer. For my CD's only I won't go further than that.
KM: Who are Reginald Policard's 5 favorite Haitian keyboard and piano players and tell us BRIEFLY what you like about them?
R.P.: Not in order I would say Serge Simpson- Eddie Prophete- Mushi Widmaier I've heard very little of Welmir Jn Pierre playing and I think is a good pianist. For the keyboards the list is long Fabrice Rouzier, Ansyto Mercier, Raoul Denis Jr., and many more.
KM: Any final words
R.P.: What about a good music Haiti financed by overseas and local Haitians?
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