Jackie Mittoo and Winston Wright – Guiding Light
“Be like a branch of a tree; flex your body to face ‘wind of sorrow’; flex little harder to dance in the ‘wind of happiness’.” – Santosh Kalwar
“There exists no more difficult art than living. For other arts and sciences, numerous teachers are to be found everywhere. Even young people believe that they have acquired these in such a way, that they can teach them to others. Throughout the whole of life, one must continue to learn to live and, what will amaze you even more, throughout life one must learn to die.” – SENECA –
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
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)
If you only listen to ONE tune from the(urban)musicologist’s Upsetter tribute it HAS to be this one from the Ethiopians. Leonard Dillon, Stephen Taylor and Aston Morrison. KILLER piece from the early days, (1974), of the Black Ark released in JA on theUpsetter’s Justice League Label.
Leonard Dillon’s career first hooked up with Lee Perry at his Studio 1 audition in the 60’s when he cut 4 tunes for Sir Coxsone…on the strength of his connection to the Wailers. Those present at the audition were Downbeat, Jackie Mittoo, Peter Tosh and Lee Perry. It was here where he got his nickname…
Leonard Dillon….Rest In Peace
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.
(Sound Dimension – Baby Face)
As far as the music of Jamaica is concerned for themusicologist there is only one studio that stands above all others..Coxsone Dodd’s legendary Studio 1. Almost every singer, instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger has at one time passed through the Brentford Road gates. Far too many to list or even mention so I won’t even try, suffice to say that if you pick a name he will have a connection. Coxsone was a visionary…and as such allowed others far more suited to the creative process to express themselves. He opened the doors for Jamaican music to carve itself a unique sound that finally arrived during the period now in question…(late 60’s early 70’s), known globally as Reggae. To wax a tune at Studio 1 meant that, as an artist, you had made it to the top. Not financially but artistically. No matter how much the sound was crafted by others, (and it most certainly was), it was Coxsone who drove it. His greatest skill was in his ability to see the wider picture and create a platform to realise it. Ideas are the lifeblood of innovation but on their own they are no more than talk….when you check it no one person did more than Coxsone to establish Jamaican music as a global force and the music stands as witness to such a claim.
So with that in mind hold this wicked instrumental cut from the previously mentioned Studio 1 house band..Sound Dimension. One listen, (for those who don’t know it), should be enough to realise why Studio 1 is the Don Sound. 1969 Release, (in the UK), on the English Bamboo label. BIG Tune.