On moving to Canada from his original home of Haïti, pianist and singer/songwriter Henri-Pierre Noel brought with him much of the tropical island’s influences. Henri is an incredibly versatile musican who uses the piano in a very percussive and syncopated way, almost like a drum. This particular technique naturally brings disco and afro-jazz elements into his unique brand of “Kompa Funk”.
In 2012, Wah Wah 45s re-mastered and re-issued Henri-Pierre Noel’s debut LP from 1979, “Piano”, to huge critical acclaim. Whilst doing so, Canadian producer Moonstarr discovered a couple of previously unreleased cuts recorded in the same session way back when. Henri-Pierre Noel’s versions of the the Walter Murphy disco classic “A Fifth Of Beethoven” and the soul/jazz standard “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” are fire for the dance floor filled to the brim with the man’s tradmark keys, funky bass and afro flavoured percussion.
These exclusive recordings are sure to start many a party this summer, and set the scene perfectly for Henri’s UK visit this July – the highlight surely being a full London show at The Jazz Cafe on Saturday July 13th!
“My favourite session ever i think..what a guy!” Cerys Matthews (BBC 6Music)
“Amazing man. Amazing record.” Huey Morgan (BBC 6Music)
“A genuine funk legend, Haitian Henri-Pierre first scored serious exposure in the 70s but remained criminally overlooked thereafter. Revisited by the consummate selectors at Wah Wah 45s, last year saw the re-release of his album Piano and this year they’ve got an even bigger treat… These two stunning, previously unreleased, cover versions. Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth Of Beethoven” is a pounding exercise in key stroking and p-funk bass that playfully flirts with the classic riff before dropping it in with a bold climax. Meanwhile on the B, the jazz standard “Mercy Mercy Mercy” gets an equally vigorous disco-funk seeing to. Faultless funk; this is not to be missed.” Juno Records (UK)
“Nice tracks ! Both of them are in our playlist on LeMellotron.com Radio..” Gu Gui, Mellotron (France)
“I’m all about “Mercy…”, especially when the drum pattern turns into a dancing soul pattern (with the snare on every beat)!” Dandy Teru (Ubiquity, France)
“Gotta love this version of the 5th Of Beethoven… Will be getting my full support!!” Johnny Reckless (Soul Brother / Colourful, UK)
“Ahhhh! These oldies but still goodies sounds! Thanks Wah Wah!!” Cesare Cera (Mighty Black Wax / Irma, Italy)
“Nice little record with a good amount of real funky keys. I like the idea of “A Fifth of Beethoven” and it does indeed develop into a song with a good groove.” Denis Sepoetro (Hochschulradio-aachen.de, Germany)
” Some nice moments and solid rhythm section!” Dave, My First Moth Records (UK)
“Love both tunes of this release!” Dr. Best (Radio Z, Germany)
“Thanks for this delightful piece of piano funkiness. Posted it on my blog today!” Peter McLennan (Dubdotdash, New Zealand)
“A bomb!!!!! I’ll play it sure!!” Hector Pizarro (Chile-con-mix, France)
“I’m hooked! and loving A Fifth Of Beethoven, definitely supporting that on my show! I always liked Walter Murphy’s version. This one is great!” DJ Nelson Ramalho (UK)
“I feel like I just got Saturday Night Fever in my favourite piano bar. Loved the first release you did with Henri-Pierre. Happy to have more in the ol’ record box. So good !!” DJ Toon (Australia)
“Liking this cheeky little one, will give “A Fifth of Beethoven” a spin on Sunday, keep up the good work” DJ Mike Shea (Kane FM, UK)
“Just a big thanks for another stellar promo. I love Henri-Pierre Noel and his beautiful music.” Mickey Duke (Code South Radio, Brighton, UK)