This Beat Is Mine! Jephté Guillaume – The Prayer (Spiritual Life)
With Haiti (and further on the Bahamas) once again slapped with a rare violence by Hurricane Matthew, my deepest thoughts come to the victims of this disaster. Not to mention to those of my family living in the area, between Port-au-Prince and Aux Cayes.
Man, all this disaster adding itself to an ongoing misery that seems to have no ending… As if we hadn’t had already enough with that big earthquake back in 2010!
As a result, I just feel once again like left with no other option but pray again and again for a brighter tomorrow to come at last. And I’ll never thank enough Jephté Guillaume for this heartfelt soothing piece of music. Let’s just gather around ‘The Prayer’ for a minute…
Frè m ‘yo, mwen priye pou ou…
This Beat Is Mine!(*) Once in a week (on Wednesdays), we leave you at the command of IDMW…
For this to happen, nothing’s more easy… What you’ve just got to do is drop us a line while using our contact form and let us know about your favorite piece of music (*), along with a review explaining what it suggests you and why people should dig it. And the best of it will be given a publication with your credit the week after.
With warm thanks to Montreal, QC-based correspondent, Carl Edouard Pantaleon, for this week’s suggestion…
Gladly welcoming yours to be published next Wednesday. On your marks!
– Jephté Guillaume has been for much on the burgeoning organic direction of Deep House during the late ’90s. Gathering influences from Disco to Jazz/Funk and Brazilian Jazz. He was not just a DJ / Producer / Vocalist. But also an in-demand multi-instrumentalist around New York’s Hip-hop, Acid Jazz and World Music scene since the early ’90s.
Born in Haiti, Guillaume moved to New York as a child, along with his family. He began playing at an early age, reaching for the bass. Meanwhile his brother Donald (The Fugees drummer) worked on drums.
By the beginning of the ’90s, the two began recording with Haitian music group Rara Machine on Shanachie Records. Eventually opening up for the Rolling Stones Vodou Lounge tour. Guillaume also played with post-Bop Acid Jazz group Abstract Truth and multi-platinum artist Wyclef Jean. Not to mention Groove Theory, Destiny’s Child and Jermaine Jackson to name just a few.
Jephté has forged his unique signature while combining acoustic grooves with fierce electronic drive (the Tet Kale Sound). Eventually forwarding the vibe on his mix sets around the world.
He began recording on his own and released his debut single, ‘Onè Respè’, back in 1994 on Metropolitan. By 1997, ‘The Prayer’ brought Joe Claussell‘s Spiritual Life Music label international accolades. Becoming a massive underground House hit. Driven by deep Afro-Haitian-Latin vibes, acoustic guitar, flute and Guillaume‘s own vocals.
Hot on its heels came a series of recordings in the same vein for Spiritual Life. From ‘Kanpé’ to ‘Al Di Yo’, ‘Lakou-A’ and ‘Ibo Lele’. Each of them balancing Guillaume‘s knowledge of Caribbean grooves with the increasingly organic feel of New York House. Something which Joe Claussell, François K and Danny Krivit brought to vivid success during their memorable Body & Soul parties.
Jephté‘s debut album, ‘Voyage of Dreams’ appeared on Chrysalis Records in 1998 and Avex Records in Japan. Since then, he has delivered countless extra gems. From ‘Rhythm Of The Rain’ along with Jean-Claude Lamarre to ‘Papa Loko’ with Erol Josué. Not to mention the stellar ‘Blue And Deep’ with German Opera singer Wiltrud Weber back in 2008. A cut which was to become the title track of his album of the likes 3 years later.
Also worth the check, Wesley Alexander‘s ‘Falling For You’ which Jephté released on his Tet Kale Records label back in 2002. This is addition to his cover version of War‘s classic ‘The World Is A Ghetto’ along with Sean Schulich.