musicology #0756

Nubag #24 (a year in the life)

Black Up – Karl Bryan & Count Ossie

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars”. Khalil Gibran

Watch over me….x

musicology #0739

Nubag #5 (a year in the life)

El Bang Bang – Jackie Mittoo

(Sir Coxson) Downbeat marrow trembler courtesy of the majestic Jackie Mittoo, (the backbone of Studio 1 throughout the golden years), and the brentford road massive aka the Skatalites, the soul brothers, Sound Dimension the Brentford road all stars/disco set at the top of the game. released in 1966, (as the Ska slid into the Rock Steady) on Downbeat’s genre defining Studio 1/Supreme Label.

Regulars on themusicologist know how strongly the ‘Keyboard King’ has been representing over the years due to his credentials as one of the greats of the music that I love. Jackie is/was and will always be the KING of Studio 1 for me

there are rare tunes and there are BOSS tunes..no doubt which category this STANDS in.

musicology #0726

ahymnforcon #32

Doreen Schaeffer – This Love

“It means much to have loved, to have been happy, to have laid my hand on the living Garden, even for a day.”

it means SO much .. thank you kohzu x

youngCon

musicology #645

tUmp #7

the Wailers – Sinner Man


what more can I say about the ‘Wailing Wailers’…the trio who went on to internationalise the music of Jamaica that has since had such a BIG impact on contemporary music especially ‘Hip Hop’ and ‘House’ both of which owe a great debt to the artists, producers and engineers who were always innovating and showing what was possible with limited technology. EVERY 21st ‘bedroom producer’, whether consciously or unconsciously, takes inspiration from Jamaican Urbanmusicology.

From the early 1950’s the Sound System pioneers helped to blaze the trail for what was to follow, chatting on the mic, selecting in the dance etc but it was in the 1960’s and particularly with Sir Coxsone Downbeat’s Brentford Road powerhouse, appropriately named ‘Studio 1’ that the music really took shape. Of course there were other BIG and influential producers at the time notably Duke Reid, Leslie Kong, Justin Yap, King Edwards, Prince Buster but Coxsone was the one who truly moved the focus out of the dance and into the Studio with artists such as the Wailers. Coxsone was a businessman but also a vanguard AND music lover who knew how to pick a winner and without him the musical landscape of not only Jamaica but, (in my opinion) the world would be a different place.

DOWNBEAT THE RULER will ALWAYS be the CHAMPION sound for me.

Wailing Wailers TributeTees designed and produced by themusicologist available EXCLUSIVELY at

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musicology #644

tUmp #6

the Wailers – Freedom Time

More Ska from the Wailers, who were first introduced to Studio 1 by percussionist Alvin ‘Seeco’ Patterson and went by the name ‘the Teenagers’. Bob had already recorded a tune for Leslie Kong before arriving at Coxsone’s Brentford Road gate but as a (5 piece), group they were yet to record. Lee Perry was assigned the task of making the ‘Wailers’ the islands #1 group and encouraged them to work at their original material rather than the covers that Coxsone, (who was a fan of the group), was forwarding. This SUPERB piece is one of those original compositions..Jackie Mittoo on the keys leading the Studio 1 band, (formerly known as the Skatalites)

 

musicology #643

tUmp #6

the Wailers – Bend Down Low

Original Studio 1 version of Bend Down Low..later revisted by Bob Marley in 1974 for his first solo album ‘Natty Dread’.

musicology #641

tUmp #4

the Wailers – Rolling Stone

one of themusicologists favourite early Wailers cuts…a TOP ranking interpretation of Bob Dylan’s ‘Rolling Stone’ from the time when Ska was slowing down and making the transition into the Rocksteady (1965/66)….I’m getting bored of saying “yet another example of the Downbeat sound” but it is…

musicology #640

tUmp #3

Ken Boothe & the Wailers – The Train Is Coming

more Rocksteady from the Downbeat stable but this time featuring themusicologist’s #1 Jamaican vocalist Ken Boothe on lead and the Wailers on back up…DEFINITELY touched by the hand of Lee Perry and Jackie Mitoo….

musicology #639

tUmp #2

the Wailers – Let Him Go

Sticking with the Early Wailers selection with this piece of Rockin’ Steady social commentary on the Emerging Rude Boy who was beginning to make his presence felt in and around Kingston’s more notorious districts and parishes as the reality of Independence unfolded and the ‘hustle’ became the primary way of earning a living and even more importantly a reputation for the ghetto sufferers.

Yet another example of why Sir Coxsone Downbeat’s Studio 1 was establishing itself as the prime Studio for recording and releasing the authentic sound of independent Jamaica.

musicology #638

tUmp #1

the Wailers – Where is my mother

been busy…(still am), as I continue crossing the border into the ‘brave new world’ where the ‘immaterial’ is overtaking the ‘material’ and hegemony reigns…

but for me themusicologist has always been the space where I come to let off, connect and communicate with music that speaks so today sees the beginning of a new theme….tUmp (theUrbanMusicologyProject), of which there are, (already), material and immaterial parts.

The first step I took over the brave new threshold was here with themusicologist almost 5 years ago but the actual journey was already well under way. I’m a traveller, (it’s my nature), and I’m always ‘on the road’ with music as my only consistent companion along the way. theUrbanMusicologyProject is who, what and why I am and the next few weeks is the latest movement in the(Urban)musicologist’s symphony.

First up is a cut from the Wailers whose Urbanmusicology I was originally introduced to by my family in the early 1970’s, (‘Catch a Fire’ with the zippo style album cover), and it was there that my Jamaican music lesson began and the ‘SouL RebeL’ sound has remained a BIG part of my narrative ever since.

Today’s unreleased? accoustic cut is from the mid 60’s features the mighty trio at the place where their combined journey began, Sir Coxsone’s mighty Brentford Road musical power-house…Studio 1.

musicology #0634

Shenley Duffus – To Be A Lover

 

Part #7 of the Upsetter tribute….
Slowing the tempo down with the original, (Reggae), cut of a William Bell soul tune sung by foundation Jamaican vocalist and LONG time Lee Perry friend and collaborator Chenley Duffus whose career begun at the age of 12 in 1950. First recording in 1958 at Federal and then with Coxson in the early 60’s which is where he met and formed a lasting bond with the Upsetter.

Todays cut was recorded a decade later at Randy’s Studio in 1972. Backed by his brother Kenneth and cousin Keith and a trio consisting of Tommy Mc Cook on Keyboards, Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace, (with his trademark attacking, military style), on drums and the man Lloyd Parks on Bass, (vocalist in his own right). A BIG hit, (the biggest of Chenley’s career), which according to Lee Perry caused tension between himself, Coxsone and Ken Khouri..Such is the nature of the intense rivalry between producers in Jamaica Coxsone wanted to fight them both !!

the Upsetter tribute tee exclusively at bloodsweatandtees

t available at bloOdsweatandtees

musicology #0628

The Silvertones – Bring It On Home

For the next couple of weeks themusicologist is focusing on Lee Perry, The Upsetter, Chicken Scratch, Little Lee. A man whose impact on Jamaica’s, (and the world’s), soundtrack is, (almost), as big as Coxsone Dodd’s.

No surprise that the Upsetter began his career beside Dodd and even less of a surprise that they parted due to, (as far as Lee Perry is concerned), Downbeat’s failure to reward his creative endeavours….a common Jamaican tale which I am not in a position to pass judgement on, (and nor would I no matter what I knew)

Anyway, the(urBan)musicologist ain’t about hearsay and rumour….STRICTLY music and Lee Perry and Coxsone Dodd helped shape Jamaican music into what we know and love.

Studio 1 carried the swing throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s but Lee Perry emerged with the ‘Soul Rebel’ sound in the late 60’s and wrestled the (recording) Crown from Sir Coxsone between 1972-1977..Channel 1 was there as where a whole host of producers during the period but, (as with Coxsone Dodd), Lee Perry changed the game.

It was Lee Perry who insisted that Bob Marley reform the Wailers rather than go it alone after returning from abroad in 1968 and history went on to be made. It was Lee Perry whose ‘Black Ark’ RULED from late 1973 until 1978 recording a HEAP of classic, KILLER material with many of the great Jamaican musicologists and whenever we reflect on Jamaican musical history Lee Perry’s name is right up there with the Champions.

Today’s cut is courtesy of The Silvertones Gilmore Grant, Keith Coley and Delroy Denton who first recorded for Duke Reid in 1965? with the magnificent Ska tune ‘True Confession’, (buried somewhere on themusicologist !!) following up with some quality Rock Steady and early Reggae for various producers, (including Lee Perry).

Before I drown in a sea of monologue and information please allow me to cut this short..

According to David Katz’s excellent book ‘People Funny Boy’ the rhythms for this piece were recorded at the, (almost completed), Black Ark and the vocals at King Tubby’s Studio at the dawning of 1973? and the musicians consisted of Hux Brown, Ansel Collins, Ranchie McLean and Anthony ‘Benbow’ Creary…

Finally I just want to add that I rate this tune and the Silvertones HIGHLY…oh yeah….It’s a cover of Sam Cooke’s ‘Bring It On Home To Me’

theUpsetter triButetee available in various colours @

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musicology #0627

Sound Dimension – Tricky (Just Say Who)

round 2 of the(urban)musicologist’s audio/video combos highlights a tune from the ‘Mellow Sounds & System Dub’ LP.

Dubwise to Horace Andy’s KILLER ‘Just Say Who’. One of my FAVOURITE pieces that drifts like the scent of honeysuckle on a summer breeze and never fails to move me.

The eagle eyed amongst you may notice my blatant product placement of the mellow sounds tee on the video…but if a man can’t mix, blend and share theUrbanMusicologyProject (tUMp) on here then where else !

Just to let you know that I won’t be making themusicologist an advert for bloOdsweatandteeS…it’s just how I’m rolling right now and the ‘project’ is what it is.

musicology #0623

Heard But Not Seen #1

Wille & The Brentford Disco Set – No One Can Stop Us

It’s a new day..Listen Tune.

musicology #0621

ChristmasComing #14

Doreen Schaffer – Wishing You A Merry Christmas

Sticking with the Jamaican festivities and rolling with this cut courtesy of Doreen Schaffer and the Downbeat crew voiced over a classic Studio 1 rhythm..

musicology #589

Flow #8

Doreen Schaffer & the Brentford Disco Set – This Love

I feel like I have shortchanged all you musicologists out there and not delivered enough Soul food recently so today I’m going to lay a three course meal on you in an effort to fill your musical plates with enough cuts to keep them ‘belly full’. I have been locked into preparing sets over the last few days and as a result have unearthed some gems from deep within the vaults.

For starters we have a musicologist favourite from what, (for me), was one of Sir Coxsone’s most harmonious periods, a little window sometime in the mid 1970’s where the Studio 1 team recorded and released some of the finest music ever recorded. The vocalist is none other than Doreen Schaffer who begun singing for Downbeat at the birth of his studio in the early 60’s. Best known for her duets with Jackie Opel this one never fails to tremble my marrow. The perfect balance between Soul, Reggae and available studio technology. Had to mix in the dub..haunting. I hope you’ll find it to your taste..

Scratchy on the intro but to be honest all the best tunes are because they have been well and truly RINSED..

musicology #0581

mOareEssentials #4

(Cedric Im Brooks – Mun Dun Gu)

Been a long time coming but I feel the fog is clearing. Troubled mind can be a living hell. In my world change happens, isn’t forced so I find myself riding the downs same way as the ups…for all their worth. Too often over the past few years I’ve been hanging on by my shredded and torn fingertips, knuckles white as winter snow. Bwoyyyyyy it’s been a long dance but the music’s changed and it’s time to step to a new beat.

Hold this next entry courtesy of the MAJESTIC Cedric ‘Im’ Brooks. Studio 1 in all it’s glory..Second time round on themusicologist having featured it when I laid it down on the BBC back in the day. Slipped it into my set at the weekend..to me it communicates a message of a new day dawning..

musicology #574

Essential Cuts #4

(Nina Soul – Sleeping Trees)

Sticking with the Sir Coxsone selection with an ESSENTIAL cut by Nina Soul.

musicology #573

Essential Cuts #3

(Jerry Jones – Still Waters)

Didn’t manage to lay a cut yesterday..BIG night Friday and as a result I floated through yesterday in a bit of a bubble. That’s one of the things about BIG nights out..sleep deprivation..Worth it though. Music was excellent, company too. Met some good people, (all genuine music lovers), which is always a real pleasure. In fact it was a proper gathering of musicologists. The Filthy Six were excellent and by a strange serendipitous, (having already laid it down on themusicologist a few hours earlier) quirk had included Sookie, Sookie in their set. If any of you cats and/or kittens get the opprtunity to catch them live…take it. If not then second best is to buy their self titled set available on Acid Jazz.

Part of what I, (Sir Errol too judging from his recent comment), enjoy about music is the voyage of ‘discovery’ and on the night Corinna Greyson and Noel McKoy were both welcome additions to my list of noteworthy vocalists. I can’t lay an example of Corrina’s vocals on you as I don’t have any to pass on but I bought 2 copies of Noel’s latest CD, (Brighter Day), on the night so hopefully, (if/when I confirm with him that it’s ok), I’ll lay down an example on themusicologist.

So on with the Essentials…(all cuts that, for me, ‘stand’ at the top of the musical mountain). Today’s cut is another from the number one Jamaican sound ‘Sir’ Coxsone ‘Downbeat The Ruler’s Studio 1. Absoulte marrow trembler released 1970 in the UK on the Bamboo label….Jerry Jones’s version of the Four Tops scorcher.

Listen Tune.

musicology #553

Times #5

(Sound Dimension – Soulful Strut)

Wicked piece of instrumentalism, (Cover of the Young Holt Unlimited Soul Classic),  from the Studio 1 house band of the period, (late 60’s – Early 70’s), known collectively as the ‘Sound Dimension’. (Cover of the Young Holt Unlimited Soul Classic)