Posts tagged as:


R.I.P. Gregory Isaacs, 1951–2010

by Nicholas Laughlin on October 25, 2010

Gregory Isaacs, Jamaican reggae singer, died this morning in London (as reported by the BBC and other media). Nicknamed “Cool Ruler”, Isaacs was once described as “the most exquisite vocalist in reggae, his pliable baritone equally at ease with silken ballads and slinky dance grooves.” His best known song is the title track from his [...]


“A dangerous balance between silence and art”

by Nicholas Laughlin on October 20, 2010

Marcel Numa and Louis Drouin (at left), moments before their execution; Port-au-Prince, November 1964 . . . on November 12, 1964, two pine poles are erected outside the national cemetery. A captive audience is gathered. Radio, print, and television journalists are summoned. Numa and Drouin are dressed in what on old black-and-white film seem to [...]

{ 1 comment }

R.I.P. Jenny Alpha, 1910–2010

by Nicholas Laughlin on September 9, 2010

Jenny Alpha, Martiniquan singer and “grande dame de la culture créole,” died on Wednesday 8 September in Paris. The RFI website posted a short obituary: A familiar figure in French jazz clubs, Alpha crossed paths with actress Josephine Baker and musician Duke Ellington. After the Second World War, she campaigned for recognition of Creole culture, [...]


Reading and writing + looking and listening

by Nicholas Laughlin on September 6, 2010

Probably the most iconic image from any Caribbean film: Jimmy Cliff as Ivanhoe Martin in The Harder They Come The CRB’s chief interest, as our name makes clear, is books. But it’s also clear that no art form is isolated or insulated from others, and literature is part of a creative continuum with visual and [...]


Listening: Les Loups Noirs

by Nicholas Laughlin on August 26, 2010

It is a stuffy Thursday afternoon, thunder is rolling off in the distance, and your Antilles blogger is hunched at his desk, trying to clear through miscellaneous CRB paperwork, as we prepare to wrap up the current issue of the magazine and begin publication of the next. Les Loups Noirs are keeping me company. The [...]

{ 1 comment }

“A lot of fans, not so many friends”

by Nicholas Laughlin on August 21, 2010

Lady Saw BLVR: Do you separate from the Lady Saw people see in the dancehall when you’re not onstage? LS: You know, a friend of mine recently told me how she saw me onstage one night, and I came down off the stage, and a man said something to me. And I told him: “Lady [...]


R.I.P. Sesenne Descartes, 1914–2010

by Nicholas Laughlin on August 12, 2010

Sesenne Descartes. Photograph courtesy the St Lucia Folk Research Centre My country heart, I am not home till Sesenne sings, a voice with woodsmoke and ground-doves in it, that cracks like clay on a road whose tints are the dry season’s, whose cuatros tighten my heartstrings. The shac-shacs rattle like cicadas under the fur-leaved nettles [...]


“The soul of positivity”

by Nicholas Laughlin on August 4, 2010

Portrait of Bob Marley on a t-shirt, Amsterdam; photograph by mdemon, posted at Flickr under a Creative Commons license You posit the theory that Peter Tosh was just as talented as Bob, but for various reasons would never achieve the kind of overall popularity he did. What was it about Marley that has made him [...]


Listening: Frantz Casséus

by Nicholas Laughlin on August 2, 2010

Your Antilles blogger is spending the long Emancipation weekend at his desk, slogging away at CRB correspondence and copyediting, and kept company by the wistful, sometimes eerie melodies of the Haitian composer and musician Frantz Casséus. Specifically, I’m listening to the Haitiana album he made with the soprano Barbara Perlow, originally released in 1969 and [...]

{ 1 comment }

R.I.P. Sugar Minott, 1956–2010

by Nicholas Laughlin on July 12, 2010

Lincoln Barrington “Sugar” Minott, Jamaican reggae and dancehall musician, died on Saturday 10 July in Kingston. The Jamaica Observer reports: Minott . . . earned for himself the moniker Godfather of Dancehall. He is credited with being the pioneer, who, by laying vocal tracks over the original tapes from the 60’s, rather than using a [...]