[coll]: Jamaican Rhythm & Blues – Original Trojan & Creole Recordings|
Reviewed by Sadie O., 3/9/07
Jamaican covers of popular R&B hits from back in the Ska/Rock Steady/early Reggae days. Of course, we are using the true definition of R&B, not the modern one! There are essentially no liner notes, but the songs seem to follow a timeline, moving from Ska to Rock Steady to Reggae. Jamaican music essentially came from listening to New Orleans R&B stations and mixing that music with Calypso, so this is historically relevant stuff, as well as just plain fun.
No FCCs detected. I like 5, 13 and 15 best.
1. 2:46 ***screamy intro, midtempo ska. Danceable, good male vocals. Bizarre modulations.
2. 4:02 **swingy midtempo ska/R&B. Val Bennett ain’t no Louis Jordan, but it’s still a fun song. Funny, stoned instrumental solos (actually, the horns are good).
3. 2:31 **somewhat uptempo ska with odd modulations, sweet tenor vocals.
4. 3:26 ***rockin’ uptempo ska/walking piano blues, lots of bounce. Tenor vocals, almost falsetto. Gnarly “scat singing”.
5. 2:21 ****slow ska instrumental, almost rock steady, but very strong blues beat. Apparently live recording. These guys weren’t one of the most popular bands in JA back then for nothing – they ROCK.
6. 2:16 ***wiggling, bopping, midtempo ska – sweet! Nice male vocals and great horns.
7. 3:12 **slow rock steady, male vocals with odd pronunciations – maybe trying to sound like he’s from Nawlins?
8. 2:25 *sweet and lovely midtempo rock steady, pretty male vocals – definitely one to slow dance with your baby to.
9. 3:08 ***little march intro, uptempo rock steady. Beat is double time, vocals half time. Duet – very high female vocals.
10. 2:55 ***swingy midtempo ska/R&B instrumental, lots of bravado guitar solo.
11. 3:37 **uptempo rock steady, slow male vocals – very pretty, well sung – wonder why I’ve never heard of him. Anyway, the vocal line and rhythm fit together very oddly.
12. 2:28 **slightly uptempo rock steady, male vocals.
13. 2:31 **** oh nice! Midtempo bouncing rock steady – almost reggae, great R&B vocals, just a cool sound. Nutted horn solo.
14. 3:16 **now we’ve got a proper midtempo roots rock, smooth male R&B vocals, and backing vocals, even!
15. 3:22 *****sweet! Midtempo rockin skank – original was a duet with Louis Prima and Keely Smith – here we have a guy singing falsetto for the chick part. I don’t know if I’m just giddy, but I’m loving this…
16. 3:10 ***baritone “pum pum pum” intro, midtempo hip wiggler, nice harmonies.
17. 2:45 **midtempo bubble, all bass and keyboard, nice male vocals.
18. 2:53 *downtempo bouncy bubble, female vocals
19. 2:34 ***downtempo rock steady, great harmonies – and it’s a great goddamn song to begin with.
20. 2:46 **midtempo rock steady, sweet male vocals, nice trap drum.