Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jammy$ ‘From the Roots 1977-1985’ Review (Greensleeves)

Lloyd ‘Prince Jammy’ James got his start in the music business as an apprentice to the infamous Osbourne ‘King Tubby’ Ruddock, who in 1957 started to put together the legendary Tubby’s Hometown Hi Fi playing American jazz and R&B records. In the late 1960’s Tubby installed rudimentary 2-track recording equipment and a dub-cutting lathe in his Dromilly Avenue workshop and his reputation continued to grow as a man who understood both music and electronics. Jammy took over the engineer’s role at 18 Dromilly Avenue where he concentrated on the studio work; this allowed Tubby to get on with the electronics side of the business.
Tubby allowed Jammy to establish his own identity in the studio. Jammy soon became a vital part of King Tubby’s Dromilly Avenue set up; voicing, editing, mixing, and operating the dub-cutting machine. His first Kingston production was with fellow Waterhouse resident Michael Rose who voiced a new song, ‘Born Free’, on a Yabby You riddim known as ‘Prayer To Jah’. Jammy next began building his own riddims. King Tubby and Yabby You, among others, encouraged Jammy to make the jump from recording engineer to record producer.
The tracks on ‘Jammy$ From The Roots 1977-1985’ demonstrate the type of talent Jammy possesses. His contribution to the ‘classic’ traditional reggae of the 1970’s and early 80’s is unsurpassed.
This 2-Disc compilation is straight up roots reggae at its finest. Johnny Osbourne’s accusatory Fally Ranking comes directly from the zinc-fenced, potholed streets of Waterhouse. International phenomenon Black Uhuru recorded some of their earliest work with Jammy including the solid Tonight Is The Night To Unite and the classic Willow Tree, both found on this set. Through the years Jammy has worked with just about anyone who’s anyone in reggae music. Sugar Minott (Give The People What They Want), Earl Zero (Please Officer), Junior Delgado (Love Tickles Like Magic and Liberation), Augustus Pablo (Pablo In Moonlight City), Dennis Brown (Africa We Want To Go and They Fight I), and Hugh Mundell (Jah Fire Will Be Burning), just to name a few, are all featured here with excellent tunes.
Tracks worthy of inclusion in the ‘stand-out’ category are Wayne Smith’s Time Is A Moment In Space, Black Crucial’s Conscience Speaks, and Barry Brown’s It A Go Dread.
Tracks that would be considered ‘boomshots’ include Johnny Osbourne’s Mr.Marshall, Natural Vibes’ Life Hard A Yard, Prince Alla’s masterpiece Last Train to Africa, and Junior Reid’s Higgler Move and Boom-Shack-A-Lack.
Elements of the Jammy-pioneered digital era are evident on the two Junior Reid tracks and on tracks by Frankie Paul (Foreign Mind, Children of Israel, and Do Good), and Half Pint (One Big Ghetto and Mr. Landlord). It was Jammy’s recordings with Waterhouse native Half Pint that showed another way forward for the music.
Jammy$ ‘From The Roots 1977-1985’ should be a requirement for any reggae collection.
Highly Recommended!


Johnny Osbourne - Jammys From The Roots (1977-1985)

Track Listing Disc One:

1. Fally Ranking - Johnny Osbourne
2. Tonight Is The Night to Unite - Black Uhuru
3. Give the People What They Want - Sugar Minott
4. Conscience Speaks - Black Crucial
5. Jah Ovah - Johnny Osbourne
6. Youth Man - Noel Phillips
7. Please Officer - Earl Zero
8. Pablo In Moonlight City - Augustus Pablo
9. Love Tickles Like Magic - Junior Delgado
10. Jah Fire Will Be Burning - Hugh Mundell
11. It A Go Dread - Barry Brown
12. Life s A Moment in Space - Wayne Smith
13. Jah Gave Us This World - Travellers
14. Natty Dread At The Controls - U Black
15. Name of The Game - Fantels
16. What A Great Day - Lacksley Castell

Track Listing Disc Two:
1. Mr. Marshall - Johnny Osbourne
2. Life Hard A Yard - Natural Vibes
3. Last Train To Africa - Prince Alla
4. Colly George - Frankie Jones
5. Willow Tree - Black Uhuru
6. Jah Do Love Us - The Jays
7. Higgler Move - Junior Reid
8. Liberation - Junior Delgado
9. One Big Ghetto - Half Pint
10. Foreign Mind - Frankie Paul
11. Africa We Want To Go - Dennis Brown
12. Children Of Israel - Frankie Paul
13. Boom-Shack-A-Lack - Junior Reid
14. Mr. Landlord - Half Pint
15. Do Good - Frankie Paul
16. They Fight I - Dennis Brown