(This post is dedicated to my fellow Pelanguero contributor Franz Tunda who’s been MIA on here. Hopefully these selections will inspire him to return.)
Does this sound familiar? You find a used record at a thrift store/garage sale/flea market type of marketplace that you don’t recognize, but the cover art looks intriguing enough to take a chance on. You go home to play it for the first time and realize you forgot the most basic inspection of checking that the actual record matches the sleeve. The disappointment of it all then has you filing the record away as a lost purchase.
A couple years back this very thing happened to me. I had completely disregarded the mismatched sleeve and record as I didn’t recognize the group or even the label and never gave it a real listen through (mistake #2). A few months ago while doing some reorganizing of my collection I came across this wrong sleeve to record purchase again and pulled out the plain looking labeled record and decided to hear what was really on it. WHOA! I couldn’t believe I had unknowingly been sitting on such a quiet killer of record by Les Professionnels, a Haitian group who from what research I’ve been able to find only made this one album in 1974.
The first song, Les Fiances begins with an incedible acoustic guitar break that isn’t hard to imagine being sampled for Mob Deep or WuTang and carries on with a type of sophisticated cool that I can only imagine comes with lots of cigarettes, coffee and quiet conversations to your lover in French while playing a guitar.
Though the knockout track for me is their song Marabout.
This one is tailor made for a smokey cinema scene with long deep stares from a femme fatale with everything moving in slow motion. I just love how the whole song just creeps up on you as if it’s going in for the kill. I don’t mind dying if I can get killed with this much sophistication.