Formed in the Port-Au-Prince suburb of Petion-Ville by the Chancy brothers, Albert on bass and Adolphe on guitar, this young band won the Radio Haiti mini-jazz competition in 1968. They relocated to Brooklyn in 1971, and their song "New York City," which spoke of the difficulty of life in exile, reached #1 on the Paris pop charts in August 1975. They competed with Ska-Shah for top band honors in the 70s and 80s and fought "musical duels" similar to the Weber Sicot/Jean-Baptiste Nemours battles of the 50s and 60s.
An irresistible live band, Tabou Combo takes Haitian compas to the widest of audiences. From their regular appearances in the '80s at the famous Zenith Theatre in Paris, to an audience of 20,000 in New York's Central Park, to the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, in football stadiums throughout the Caribbean, and on the turntables of the top DJs, this band makes people dance. Influenced by funk and soul in their adopted home, Tabou took on the likeness of the Commodores on the covers of their late-'70s releases. They even made a demo tape with hopes of a Motown contract. Their desire to reach the Black US market remains unsatisfied, but they should be proud that popular musicians such as Kassav' from the Antilles/Paris and Wilfrido Vargas from the Dominican Republic have absorbed their music. ~ Richard Lieberson