HENRI-PIERRE NÖEL / PIANO

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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. The “Kompa Funk” sounds of his homeland, along side contemporary North American jazz and disco, run throughout both of Henri’s albums recorded in the late 1970’s – “Piano” and “One More Step”. Both were released on very limited private presses and have since become holy grails of the back music scene.

Henri-Pierre Noel is an incredibly versatile musician who uses the piano in a very percussive and syncopated way, almost like a drum. This particular technique naturally brings disco and afro-funk elements into his unique brand of dance floor fusion.

The man himself is still playing in his adopted home of Montreal today, and having been introduced to Wah Wah 45s label boss Dom Servini by Canadian DJs Kobal, Moonstarr and Andy Williams, who were all keen fans of his early works, it became clear that Noel’s finest moments needed to be re-released and re-discovered by a new generation.

Re-mastered from the original multi-track tapes by Kevin Moonstarr in Canada, and featuring a previously unreleased vocal version of album favourite “Merci Bon Dieu”, Henri-Pierre Noel’s debut “Piano” is finally available to all on heavyweight vinyl, CD and digital formats, including full sleeve notes translated into both French and English.

A very timely Christmas present from the man with the very appropriate name.

Merci Monsieur Noel!

Check out a very lovely interview with the man himself here!

Interview: Henri-Pierre Noel

Reactions:

“Doesn’t really sound like anything else. One of those Holy Grail records… Really interesting record” Jamie Cullum (BBC Radio 2, UK)

“Tailor made for the dance floor! An incredibly consistent album!” Craig Charles, BBC6 Music, UK

“Love it! A really good fusion, reminds me of pigbag in places. Playing 3 of the tunes out to great response.” Mr. Scruff, Ninja Tune, UK

“It’s badass!” Huey Morgan, BBC 6Music (UK)

“Really great to see Wah Wah 45s supporting the heritage of jazz!” – Gerald Short, Jazzman Records

“What a treat. I just loved every second of that! He will be playing live for us on the show next Summer!” Cerys Mathews, BBC 6Music (UK)

“What an album that is!” DJ Snowboy (UK)

“This is interesting stuff. Definitely percussive. Reminds me of an earlier version of Hiromi Uehara, whom I love. Thanks for sharing.”  Rob Peoni, Thought on Tracks (USA)

Interview: Henri-Pierre Noel

“Ow, I can see some people go nuts on those fast piano notes!!! Lovely….” DJ Lefto, Studio Brussels Radio / Worldwide / Brownswood Recordings (Belgium)

“Originally from Haïti, Henri-Pierre Noel is a massively respected jazz, funk and disco pianist from back in the day. He recorded his album ‘Piano’ in the seventies on very limited press but thanks to the team at WahWah 45s you can once again get hold of this musical gem. Remastered from the original multitrack tapes by Kevin Moonstarr, and available in heavyweight vinyl with both French and English sleeve notes, it’s a real collectors piece. I’ve chosen ‘Diskette’ as the track you (and Gilles Peterson) are most likely to play in disco sets thanked to its Herbie Hancock-esque baseline and tempo. Henri-Pierre improvises over the top to create a perfect start to any musical evening. 9/10” Digby, Mixmag (UK)

“I’ve been waiting a long time for an album like this to arrive again on the scene.” Blair L Stafford, Straight Up (Australia)

“Each track has a relentless and driving sound due to such an unusually strong groove from this amazing pianist. It’s almost African in feel. His solos are just red-hot on every single track.” Blues & Soul Magazine (UK)

“I like what I’m hearing… boogie meets boogie-woogie?” Ross Hoffman, Philadelphia City Paper/All Music Guide (USA)

“Amazing album!” Emile Omar, Radio Nova (France)

http://www.afrik.com/musik/piano/album/7327

“Interesting album, looking forward to checking out in full. 4/5” Mike Chadwick, Jazz FM (UK)

http://www.radiocampusparis.org/playlist/

“Great album, funky, fresh and unique, love the sound! 4/5” Renegades Of Jazz, Wass Records (Germany)

“It’s about time somebody re-released this! Hometown boy’s classic.” Pierre-Jean Lavigne, Galaxie Music / CISM89.3 fm / MCI / Tout Va Bien Zine (Canada)

“Simbi is Sound of the Day on Novaplanet.com” http://www.novaplanet.com/novamag/son-simbi-1

“Killer release! Diskette & Merci Bon Dieu are in my box for sure.” Michael Ruetten, Compost Radio (Germany)

“It’s a really interesting blend of afro-Cuban rhythms, up-tempo piano jazz and driving grooves. The tracks ‘Merci Bon Dieu’ and ‘Diskette’ are really georgeous! 4/5” Toni Varela, Radio RaBe (Switzerland)

“The London label, Wah Wah 45s have rounded off a delectable hatrick of note with Piano by Henri-Pierre Noel, their third vinyl long-player release. Already a classic to some headz this reissue brings a schooling to the benighted digital generation from a supreme virtuoso. The label would be challenged to find a more inventive, unique and throbbing piece of music to open their reissue account. Touched by Haitian Voodoo, the lightning Rhythms summoned by HPN are driven into the thunder of his percussion. Piano fits snuggly with the labels seasoned depth and legacy of soulful music that cuts across an eclectic and ever growing stable of talent. This particular piece of black glory siddles up blithely (at least on my racks!!!) to Colman Brothers debut album, and the cavernous dub-reggae-digital sound delights summoned up by the Resonators on their album, The Constant.
Classy intonations for 2013 begin with this taster of Wah Wah 45s expansions into heavyweight slabs of wax. Maximum props and loving to Wah Wah 45s as they head toward their twelth year with a timely contribution to the 12″ Long Player revival.
Check back soon for some inspirational and always eclectic sound adventures for 2013.

In this little Wah Wah 45s LP taster the fertile soils of winter are sown with the raw, urgent rhythm of Cogaxa and Merci Bon Dieu appears on this reissue for the first time, there’s even a bit of the original lingua franca sleeve notes included!” Pete Buckenham, Paris Eclectic (France)

“Timeless grooves. 4/5” Sean Smith, Tokyo Jazz Notes (Japan)

“What a great release! Groove and piano in an perfect blend. Let the dark days of winter come along…we’re ready!” Phil Wicked Jazz Sounds (Holland)

“Very Good. 3/5” Isidro Lisboa, Radio Nova (Portugal)

“And with that, Henri-Pierre is on his feet! “Watch out madam! Flying piano stool heading your way. Yes you! Ginger lady in the front row! Stand clear!” A dancer of some description is how we’ll describe this uptempo number from Mr. Noel. A very entertaining ivory tinkler it must be said.” DJ Baz Hickey (Ireland)

“That’s some heavy piano! Definitely not my father’s classical piano, to be sure. An interesting fusion of styles and sounds. Wish they played at my church! 3/5” Christopher Lawyer, Hip City, 88 1 KDHX FM, kdhx.org, St. Louis, MO (USA)

http://jazzchill.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/henri-pierre-noel-piano.html

“This really is like nothing else I have ever heard! Funky organic disco like the best of Westbound with some some
serious piano chops on top – just check out “Diskette” for some heavyweight madness on the keys. Already ordered
my vinyl! 4/5″ Bill Davies, RootDown FM (UK)

“That’s music, anything else…4/5” Black Mighty Wax aka Cesare Cera, Gru Radio (Turin) & Radio Fujiko 103 (Bologna) (Italy)

“5 stars for this magistrally reissue. Very affordable jazz with a very tight groove and some fantastic orchestration
marrying classical, latin & disco vibes for a very complete vision of what can bring a jazz album. An absolutely must-
listen masterpiece. 5/5” Edward Waters, Gonzai – Radio Campus Orléans (France)

“Jazz from the French Caribbean, with the skills of Mario Canonge and Marius Cultier. Perfect.” John Warr, Afrobase, Totally Radio (UK)

“WOW. 5/5” Nutritious, SpinSpinNYC / Fetish Authentic (USA)

“Wah Wah have done us all a great service by re-issuing these piano monsters.. 3/5” Pimpernel Jones, Herma Puma, First Word (UK)

“Brilliant. 5/5” Dobo Marzov, The “45 RPM” radio show on the Bulgarian National Radio – Radio Varna (Bulgaria)

“Amazing music – cant wait to play it on the show! 4/5” John Bailey, 3RRR (Australia)

“One of the best pianist from West Indies. In my 22tracks Charts for sure !!!” Psycut, 22tracks Paris (France)

“Hooray! Some piano driven Soul, love it!” Oscar Smith, Shock Radio (UK)

“Killer reiissue via London´s finest wah wah 45´s. Lucky me that I got the original some 10 years ago via my man in
Toronto:) . FULL Dj & radio support! 5/5” Tom Wieland, 7 Samurai,  samurai.fm/transeuropaexpress (Austria)

“Very cool find. Been asked to help start a jazz dance night in LA, and “Merci” will work very well! 4/5″ Richard E, Further Out Recordings (USA)

“Lovin’ the 2nd track “Diskette”. Will play it out for sure. ” Mad Mats, Local Talk Records / Raw Fusion (Sweden)

My dad talked often of the incredible talent of a member of the family, Henri-Pierre Noël. Of course, as it comes from your father, you are not too attentive, but I was wrong. What keyboard player! And via the compilation from ‘Kings of Diggin”s Kon & Amir I discovered jazz, funk, Caribbean and afro-Latin influences in his music. Now one of his most sought after albums has been re-issued. ‘Piano’ is an extremely rare disc selling at stratospheric prices on the second-hand market, and Wah Wah 45s have done great work in remastering the album, including an unreleased track, and wonderful sleeve notes from Canadian collector DJ Kobal.” Levif.be (Belgium)

“What a debut this was. The remastered sound adds to that already impeccable innovation that makes a dance floor the right place to meet. 4/5” Mister G, Greenarrowradio (USA)

“At last someone’s done it!!!! Wel done guys..top work!” Dj Harv, www,pointblank.fm (UK)

“Oh yes, superb release from Wah Wah 45s. 5/5” DJ Graham B, Freestyle Records (Netherlands)

“Nice slice of late 70s tropical-flavored jazz. Thanks! 4/5” Andujar, WMUA Radio Clandestino/Peace & Rhythm (USA)

“Great stuff, cool back-story too. I like! Definitely useful for the jazzier dancefloor. 4/5” DJ Gilla, First Word (UK)

“Killer release! This definitely will get a spin on both – my radio show and my dj- set! 5/5” Oliver Korthals, Out Of Spectrum on Byte FM / Mojo Club (Germany)

“Great listen. lovely! 4/5” Dean Rudland, The Modcast / OST (UK)

“I mentioned the LP on the blog, can’t wait to add some tracks on my DJ sets !” Jm / Vibes4YourSoul /DJ, musical blogger

“I only heard one track, but it makes me hungry for more. Sounds like Soleado tunes! 4/5” Lubacov, Soleado, Gladys Palmera Radio (Spain)

“Afro disco boogie woogie! 3/5” Jason Villani (DJ Lord Lewis) WESU 88.1 FM Middletown CT (USA)

“Dancefloor jazz at its best. The vocal version of Merci Bon Dieu is a killer. 5/5” Radoslav Tomek aka DJ Kinet, Owner/ Res DJ @ Nu Spirit Club, Bratislava; speaker @ Radio FM (Slovakia)

“I’ve been waiting for this “Simbi” track since I heard it on a Kon & Amir mix years ago. Simply incredible. Full support here.” Jason Pulaski, KUCI Radio, Ubiquity (USA)

“Holy crap!!! Belter! 5/5” Ross PTH, Part-time Heroes (UK)

“Amazing discovery! 4/5” Matti Nives, We Jazz (Finland)

“This is really fine music from a talent I’ve never heard from before, but that’s getting his just due. Another great find from Mr. Servini and company! 5/5” Velanche, Velanche’s Playtime (USA)

“This is truly something special. Top marks for re-mastering and getting this music out there! 5/5” Simon Harrison, Basic Soul (UK)

“Essential reissue. 4/5” Philgood, Soul Food, Jazz Radio & Sofa Record Shop (France)

“Dope. I’ll blog this on the Monday post.” Blackclassical, Potholes in my Blog (UK)

http://www.thewordisbond.com/jazz/596/music-monday-new-jazz-releases-this-week/#

“Virtuosity supreme! 4/5” Stephen Zelenka, Host Streetnoise! Radio Los Angeles (USA)

“A record to live the rest of your life with.” DJ Bunuel, Radio Helsinki, Radio YLE1 (Finland)

“The album shines like a beacon in the darkness. Stunningly beautiful.” Aja, Ketch-a-vibe (UK)

“A truly vibrant and versatile set with some real standout tracks – “Diskette”, “Sambita” and more. Solid release.” DJ Tomas, Friday Night Session, Google Play (USA)

“Groovy and addictive. 5/5” Dimitris Katsourinis, Jazz&Tzaz (Greece)

“Loving the whole arc from Brazil to Canada via Haiti and New Orleans.” Glyn Phillips, Worldmusic.co.uk, Worldmusicradio.com (UK)

“Really cool album. Thanks.” DJ Allan Skov (Denmark)

“I don’t have the original album so this remastered release is a welcome insight into the piano talents of Henri-Pierre
Noel! The tracks “Merci Bon Dieu” and “Diskette” are instant favourites…3/5″ Steve Johns, Solar Radio www.solarradio.com (UK)

http://psyquebelique.blogspot.fr/2009/04/piano-henri-pierre-noel-198.html

“Nice one, will give it a good review in Debug” Tobi, Debug / Faze (Germany)

“Beautifully re-mastered from the original tapes, this is a joyous album that you definitely need in your collection.” Phil Levine, Soulm8 Ezine (UK)

“PURE CLASS >>> ALL THE WAY . 5/5” Anthony Psaltis, DJ Toon, Eastside radio and club DJ (including IVY) (Australia)

“Really good. Will fit well into our jazz blocks, serving Pizza Express Jazz Club and the like. 4/5” Paul Wain, ImageSound PLC (UK)

“Didn’t know before. Seems good! 4/5” Victor Boiret, Radio Moka (France)

“What an interesting gem-full of delights though ‘merci bon dieu’ is the standout.Well done to Dom for releasing this monster. 3/5” James Lewis, RADIO SYNDICATION (UK)

“Rad. 5/5” DJ Bunny Ears, DDB Chicago (USA)

“The re-released album from HENRI-PIERE NOEL is awesome! Jazz at its best – fantastic!” Dr. Best (Germany)

“Great piece of music right here thanks. 4/5” Esa Williams, Open Ear Music (UK)

“A record we would have killed for back in the 90s , when nu jazz was the big thing and rare fusion like this would be
the shit in any Dj -set. all tunes have their moments , a very dry and clean sound – i think my personal have is
Cogaxa. Thanks ! 4/5” Don Rogall, DJ , Berlin Bassy Club / Festsaal Kreuzberg / Rocking Ballroom / Auster Club etc… (Germany)

“I like this. Especially ‘Sambita’ and vocal of ‘Merci Bon Dieu’, I can so see this chopped up and made into a really big sounding dancey tune. Anyway I love a good piano album.” Ellesbelles, Nothing To Display (UK)

“EXCELLENT !!!” Mark Robinson, Radio Adelaide (Australia)

“Exciting story!” DJ Snorre Seim (Norway)

“With tracks from the cd it gives you various options as a what we can play and set the atmosphere on radio, clubs and events. 3/5” DJ Speedy, Radio Presenter – The Soul Of London Radio (TSOL) (UK)

“Truly enjoyable recording!” Georgios Paroglou, It’s Just Music! (Greece)

“Lovely, Thanks. 5/5” Erik Otis, Sound Colour Vibration (USA)

“Lovely as expected. 4/5” Ahmet Gunes, Lovaj/Acyk Radyo (Turkey)

“Nice very nice, great foot-stomping feel. 4/5” Nick Davies, Radio Winchcombe (UK)

“This is fan-bloody-tastic. Thanks for putting this out, much appreciated.” Xander Roozen, DeLuca, Royal Groove (Holland)

“Extraordinary, gives nothing but pleasure, quirky and great fun. 3/5” Jeff Daniels, International DJ / Event Promoter / A&R (UK)

“Fusion is always the thing. and that’s a proper one. 3/5” Chris Ex, Upnloud radio – Musica-re blog (Germany)

“Wonderful 5/5” Leo Lait, Music Concierge (UK)

“Amazing. Sounds like a Mark Murphy instrumental on speed. Fuckin´ brilliant!” DJ Fidel (Norway)

“Absolutely brilliant, pure beauty! I will feature it tomorrow on my radio show.” Antonino Musco (USA)

“Wow! That snare is so thick it’s almost a milkshake… Or something. Merci indeed…” Capstone (First Word / Wah Wah 45s, UK)

“Awesome! 5/5” Hector Pizarro, Chile con mix (radioshow) (France)

“”Damn it….this is an absolutely fresh & unexpected sound…..that’s why i love WW45 for new discoveries” DJ Laurel, Sound Diving (Belarus)

“I think I just wet my pants. Yes Yes Yes!” DJ Konvex (UK)

“Wicked!” Mathieu Schreyer, KCRW (USA)

“Merci Bon Dieu vocals and instrumentals are the best tracks and could possibly get an airing!” Ket Shah, Mucho Soul, Back2Back FM (UK)

“Piano madness !!!” Markus Milz, Further In Fusion (Germany)

“Been on constant play since you were so kind to forward this. Beautiful piece of work.” Mickey Duke/Mile wide smile club/Brighton (UK)

“Full support.” DJ Philip Coicou (France)

“It’s very good.” Nik Weston Juno / The Jazz Meet (UK)

“Dope, ill blog this on the Monday post.” Blackclassical Potholes In My Blog (UK)

“This is something truly special – top marks for re-mastering and getting this music out there!” Simon Harrison, Basic Soul radio show (UK)

“Didn’t know before. Seems good!” DJ Bunuel, Radio Helsinki (Finland)

“Yeah, feeling this one. ‘Cognaxa’, ‘Simbi’ and ‘Diskette’ are all absolute dance floor ‘flyers’ and straight in the jazz bag. Thanks!” Rob Coley, The Jazz Meet (UK)

“Rad.” DJ Bunny Ears, DDB (USA)

“Oh yes, superb release from Wah Wah 45s” DJ Graham B, Freestyle Records (Netherlands)

“At first glance, wasn’t interested.  But then I listened a bit more… extremely creative.  Two tracks going in to rotation.” JJ Nite, Funk Republic Radio (USA)

“Merci Bon Dieu Vocals and Instrumentals are the best tracks and could possibly get

an airing…..!!!!” Ketan Shah www.back2backfm.net www.muchosoul.podomatic.com (UK)

“This really is like nothing else I have ever heard! Funky organic disco like the best of Westbound with some some serious piano chops on top – just check out “Diskette” for some heavyweight madness on the keys. Already ordered my vinyl!” Bill Davies, RootDown FM (UK)

“Nice very nice, great foot-stomping feel.” Nick Davies, Radio Winchcombe (UK)

“Right up my street. Modern piano.” Oliver Pickup, Freelance journalist (UK)

“Masterful.” Andy ward, stompradio.com (UK)

“Simbi is a fantastic track. Will play it out on our radio show for sure.” Gavin Handley, Jus Like Music / NTS (UK)

“An album I have been after for a long time in its original form.  So great to see Wah Wah do a re-issue.   Fantastic LP start to finish.  Simbi is the one for me..  Nice one Dom and Adam.” Jarred Rice, www.thejazzmeet.com (UK)

“Liking Diskette and Sambita on first listen,nice to hear a bit of the old piano again, thanks.” Bobby Beige, Garden Festival and Bar Croatia, Melting Point, Amsterdam (Netherlands)

“Wonderful production on all tracks, all are playable, hard to choose just one, but right now ‘Merci Bon Dieu’ just has the edge. Full support – no probs THANK U SO MUCH! Dr Bob Jones Radio, mi-soul.com (UK)

“Very welcome vinyl reissue, great digging here!”  Djouls, Paris DJs (France)

“Brilliant release.” DJ Jimmy_Mac, The Soul Purpose Radio Show (Australia)

“Let’s get it on! Nice album!” Daniel bklyn.de (Germany)

“Unique and groovy piano sounds by a very versatile musician.” Jonas Kolbe, Mos Eisley Music (Germany)

“LOVE IT!” Ana Bogadek, www.mellowfusion.com (Croatia)

“Afro-tinged Jazz Beats to some more obvious dance grooves this is a gem.” Ginger Tony Solar Radio / Soul Survivors Magazine (UK)

“That’s so old school – I LOVE IT.” Steve Williams, ukvibe (UK)

“Nice little album with the stand out track being Merci Bon Dieu (vocal). This track is best described as a piano funk track with a very infectious beat which definitely will have you dancing and stomping by the end.  The rest of the album is consisted by well thought out pieces of piano music very nice indeed!” Marcus G Hurley, Soulectric, SHUFFLE and ROTW, Shake Your Hips (UK)

“Instantly fell in love with Merci Bon Dieu. Great to discover this long lost gem! We like!!” A Hungry Ghost, Two Hungry Ghosts Blog (UK)

“Great to hear such a classic release on Wah Wah. Foundation.”  Jamie, groovement.co.uk (UK)

“On first listen this sounds really interesting, cheers, Corey.” Corey Hudson, The Soul Funk Experiment radio show on

Edge Radio 99.3 FM, Tasmania (Australia)

“A diverse archive work that ticks every box!” Mark Ski, Funk by Funk (UK)

“Haunting!” Angel, Soul Revolution (Italy)

Radio play from Huey Morgan (BBC6 Music, UK); Mathieu Schreyer, KCRW (USA); Cerys Matthews (BBC6 Music, UK); Mans Stromberg, Radio Helsinki / YLE1 (Finland); Jason Pulaski, KUCI 88.9FM (USA); John Warr, Afrobase, Totally Radio (UK); Andy Williams, The Goods Radio Show, CKUT 90.3FM (Canada); Chris Greenwood, SOAS Radio (UK); Russ Jones, SOAS Radio (UK); Mike Stukes, Mystic Vybes, WHCR 90.3 FM (USA); Phil Levine, Back2Back FM (UK); Craig Charles (BBC6 Music, UK); Higher Street, RBMA (Spain)

 

CAT#

WAHCD020 / WAHLP003