Sweet Jamaican harmony! Harmony groups form a major piece of the Jamaican music tapestry, and Soul Jazz casts their Studio One-centered spotlight on one of the finest batches of Jamaican ensemble soul around! Covering everything from the rocksteady years on up through the late roots era, the groups showcased here deliver smoothly harmonized numbers under Cosxsone Dodd's deft direction, with only a few hewing towards the more raw sound favored by some of the rootsier ensembles, but all over easy Studio One rocking grooves. 19 dynamite numbers in all, with full annotation as with other releases in this Soul Jazz series, including "Solid Foundation" by the Righteous Flames, "Things A Come Up To Bump" by the Bassies, "You Will Never Know" by the Mad Lads, "What Is It" by the Consumates, "The Struggle" by the Viceroys, "Get In The Groove" by the Heptones, "Pick Up The Pieces" by the Royals, "Jah Jah Go Before Us" by the Gladiators, "Love & Affection" by Bob Marley & The Wailers, "Down Presser International" by the Stingers, "Baby Why" by the Cables, "The Pressure Is On" by the Purpleites, "Cheating & Lying" by the Silvertones and more! LP, Vinyl record album
A seminal self-titled set from Jimmy Cliff – one of the singer's first full albums – presented here in a package issued by Trojan Records from earlier Jamaican sides produced with Leslie Kong! Cliff is already a giant at this point – singing with a far-reaching soulfulness that goes way beyond simple reggae modes that mindblowing sound that made him one of the first true international stars to burst forth from the Kingston scene – with a quality that's sometimes strong enough to rival American soul giants like Otis Redding or Marvin Gaye! This deep soul influence comes through even more beautifully here on these early tracks – on hits that include "Many Rivers To Cross" and "Wonderful World Beautiful People" – plus the titles "Vietnam", "Hard Road To Travel", "Sufferin In The Land", "Time Will Tell", and "Come Into My Life". CD features 14 bonus tracks, 25 tracks in all! CD
A great self produced album from Jimmy Cliff – very soulful, but with a rootsy political edge you might not expect from a pop reggae star like Cliff. Recorded in Jamaica at Dynamic Sounds, with a great lineup that includes the Heptones on backing vocals, and issued in the US by Warner as part of a big push on Jimmy's work when the film The Harder They Come was released. Titles include "Black Queen", "Be True", "Oh Jamaica", "Commercialization", "The Price Of Peace", "Poor Slave", and "Rip Off". LP, Vinyl record album
A great showcase for the instrumental talents of Jamaican saxophonist Roland Alphonso – one of the key players who helped transform the sound of the scene in the 60s! But despite Roland's name on the front, the album's more of a group affair overall – directed by Boris Gardinier, and also featuring wicked rocksteady work from Lyn Taitt on guitar and Aubrey Adams on Hammond – both musicians who get almost as much time in the spotlight as Alphonso himself! Titles include a nice noisy take on the Booker T & The MGs tune "Hip Hug Her" – plus "Narata", "Pure Soul", "Wild & Free", "Little Nut Tree", "That's Life", "Sad Song", and "ABC Rocksteady". CD
Roland Alphonso —
ABC Rocksteady ... LP Gay Feet/Dub Store (Japan), Mid 60s. New Copy (reissue)...
Just Sold Out!
A great showcase for the instrumental talents of Jamaican saxophonist Roland Alphonso – one of the key players who helped transform the sound of the scene in the 60s! But despite Roland's name on the front, the album's more of a group affair overall – directed by Boris Gardinier, and also featuring wicked rocksteady work from Lyn Taitt on guitar and Aubrey Adams on Hammond – both musicians who get almost as much time in the spotlight as Alphonso himself! Titles include a nice noisy take on the Booker T & The MGs tune "Hip Hug Her" – plus "Narata", "Pure Soul", "Wild & Free", "Little Nut Tree", "That's Life", "Sad Song", and "ABC Rocksteady". LP, Vinyl record album
Horace Andy —
Get Wise ... LP Pressure Sounds (UK), 1975. New Copy (reissue)...
Prime 70s work from Horace Andy – recorded in this laidback, soul-drenched style that almost recalls the Kingston sound of a few years before! The setting is very earthy and up-close – a perfect placement for Andy's really unique vocals, which almost approximate some of the more interesting male soul vocalists of the east coast scene of the time – particularly those at the higher end of the spectrum. Horace lilts up and down beautifully – over grooves recorded at Channel One, Black Ark, Dynamic Sound, and Randys – on titles that include "Roots Of All Evil", "Sexy Jean", "Let Your Teardrops Fall", "Get Wise", "Today Youth", "Feel Good", "Eighty Percent Badness", and "I Don't Want To Be Outside". LP, Vinyl record album
The striking debut album from one of the architects of reggae, a musician who cut precious few solo records in his lengthy tenure as the godfather of Jamaican music! A key figure behind the careers of reggae's mega stars like Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, Higgs issued few albums and singles under his own name, but this stellar first album showcases his talent beautifully, with spare, but rich renderings of his soulful approach to roots! Guitar ringer Eric Gale was brought in from the States to accompany Higgs alongside the stellar Now Generation band featuring Earl Wire Lindo, Mikey and Geoffrey Chung and Mickey Boo Richards, but Higgs production and arrangements keep things stripped down and true to the Kingston rootical vibe, rather than jazzing up the proceedings. 10 tracks in all, including "Come On Home", "Got To Make A Way", "Wake Up & Live", "Life Of Contradiction", "Who Brought Down The Curtains", 'Hard Times Don't Bother Me", "My Baby Still Loves Me" and "Song My Enemy Sings". LP, Vinyl record album