musicology #0672

aSongforCon #11

Ernest Wilson – Undying Love

LONG standing tune for themusicologist. Kohzu…x

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themusicologist meets Downbeat @ bloodSweatandteeS

part 2 of theUrbanMusicologyProJect…

Selected by themusicologist in tribute to Jamaica’s Soundsystem and Recording Studio HEAVYWEiGHT Sir Coxsone Downbeat the Ruler Dodd and FULL Brentford Road Crew.

I have waxed lyrical MANY times, (and dropped the needle on a number of supreme cuts), over the years here about the greatness of Studio 1 and some of its chief protagonists ..cats like Jackie Mittoo, Leroy Sibbles, Joe Higgs, Ken Boothe, the Skatalites, (to name a few), and how they carried the swing throughout the early days of Ska, Rocksteady and into Reggae. In fact I LOVE Studio 1 so much it led me to design and produce the tribute tShirt in Sir Coxsone’s honour which in turn inspired the formation and formulation of bloodSweatandteeS. Of course there were plenty of other producers along the way like Duke Reid, Justin Yap, Prince Buster, Lee Perry, Bunny Lee, King Tubby and the Hookim family but, at least as far as i am concerned, Downbeat was and will always remain the ruling sound. themusicologist IS a journey and as such the most effective way to illustrate what music means to me and how much it has informed my life is to lay down ‘SouLRebeLSymphonies’ rather than the the ‘1Shot’ that has dominated themusicologist for the past 4/5 years. I have played and listen to music this way for almost 30 years so it is also part of my narrative and authenticity so I hope you will allow me to indulge this part of my self as well as do me the favour of listening to it this way? The works of art on this mix were recorded and released from the late 60’s through to the mid 70’s, (with a few later cuts sprinkled in), when the Downbeat sound dominated. Before that the main rivalry, (especially record wise), was between Downbeat and the Trojan and even though there were some great producers throughout the age Studio 1 was the Home of Reggae and recording for Coxsone was the goal for almost all of the artists throughout the 60’s and early 70’s…..

to conclude todays monologue..I STRONGLY believe that music is for sharing and playing in your own environment so the mix is available to download and if you like Reggae and especially Studio 1 then i implore you to ‘fill your boots’ (and if you like it feel free to share it with your community.)

the bloodSweatandteeS Sir Coxsone Downbeat’ tribute tShirts, (below the soundcloud player), are available in various colours and there are still some sizes left so if you are looking to represent now’s the time as some of the combinations will not be repeated due to my desire to innovate continuously !

the ORiGiNAL ‘SouLRebeL’ tributeTees

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musicology #201

teachings of billionaire YenTzu #11

(Ernest Wilson – Undying Love)

penultimate cut of the Yen Tzu selection…

Kissing The Scorpion (following your true nature)

‘This will be ideal for my meditations,’ thought a wandering  sage, seeking a cave in the wilderness. Upon entering it, however, he noticed the skeletal remains of many human corpses.  Unconcerned, he sat down on a rock to rest from his travels.

‘How you answer will seal your fate!’ boomed a voice, and turning the sage saw that before him was a gigantic scorpion, the size of a large man.

‘As your questions have undoubtedly sealed yours,’ replied the sage calmly.

‘What manner of Man are you to be without trace of fear?’ demanded the giant scorpion. ‘For the nature of Man is to be afraid.’

‘Not so,’ answered the sage. ‘For in truth the nature of Man is to be in balance, and such a state comes when he has no fear of what life may confront him with, because he is in love with the true meaning of life. As my thoughts and actions have led me to this place, how can I fear it? To do so is to fear myself, which I do not, for I have only love for the person that I am.’

‘Then you are rare indeed,’ said the scorpion, ‘for the men who have come before you have been escaping from themselves, as one seeks to leave another within a loveless relationship.’

‘You speak as one who has experienced such,’ said the sage intuitively, ‘for your visage is not strong enough to hide the pain, frustration and indeed anger that you exude.’

‘It would seem that truthful perception is yours to command,’ answered the fearsome creature. ‘Because in truth I was as a man once, long ago, until my ruthlessness attracted a demon seeking a disciple. My resistance to it resulted in having my current condition cast upon me. But because what was left of my original nature was able to resist, the demon was compelled to allow my situation a reversal. Though little use it has been. For of all those who have approached my lair these past long years, none have caused the spell to be reversed.’

‘Because no doubt they must answer of their own accord and without direction,’ said the sage. ‘An accord distorted by their fear.’

‘Exactly so! and now you will forgive me if I become impatient to address the riddle I must ask of you!’ said the scorpion. ‘If you refuse to answer, cannot or your answer is wrong, then I thank you in advance for our debate, for afterwards it will be too late.’

‘Proceed as you wish,’ the sage said, ‘for it is of little consequence.’

‘Take heed though,’ advised the scorpion ‘that immediately after I have incanted my words I will be rendered helpless in order to allow you to make your choice. Although you are weaponless, there are many swords around you that are sharp enough to enable even the weakest of arms to slice off my deadly tail. And so:

‘When you embrace the most deadly, you overcome your worst fears;
When you act the least likely, there can be nothing but tears;
When you act from the heart and engage worthy might,
Then to the end from the start, you have held to what’s right;
Your balance to death will be as it is for your life,
To do one over the other, can bring sorrow and strife;
when you act as you do because you are as you be,
You will know if a kiss or a strike is the key.

‘Quickly!’ added the now motionless scorpion looking menacingly into the eyes of the sage. ‘You have the opportunity to strike me.’

‘My answer is as my action,’ said the sage and calmly outstretched his arms and kissed the creature on it’s evil-looking head. Immediately the scorpion was transformed and it was now a man that stood before him. With the spell broken, tears flowed freely down the large man’s cheeks and he fell at the feet of the sage in gratitude. As the sage helped him up, the large man said,

‘You chose correctly, yet why were you so sure, when the nature of a scorpion is to strike when face to face with it’s adversary?’

‘Because deep down you were still a man,’ said the sage, ‘and it is the true-nature of a man to love, not strike. And as the riddle implied, transforming you back into a man is the greatest risk to overcome, because Man can be more deadly than any scorpion. Acting in the least likely way of not seemingly protecting myself could only release your tears. Those tears a man has prior to his transformation and the tears of happiness that follow it. Furthermore because I am in a state of balance I can but only act in a right manner.’

‘I am indeed fortunate to have found such a natural individual to release me from my predicament,’ said the man.

‘Fortune has nothing to do with it,’ replied the sage with finality. ‘It was your own need to return to your true vocation that attracted you to me, and it was my own thoughts to test my own vocation that led me to you. All of us are interdependent of others whether we are aware of it or not. As such, all of us are both teachers and students, appearing as appropriate to one another when each is ready. That is how we can fulfil our true vocation. Learning how to express it effectively requires a state of balance. For only in such a state can we act as our true nature intended.’

musicology #153

duets2 #2

(Beres Hammond & Marcia Griffiths – Live On)

I had planned on throwing this one down yesterday but for some unknown reason my internet connection was playing tricks and locked me out of the ‘information highway’
so i’m taking this opportunity to fling it now in case it happens again.

day two of the duets selection is one of the tunes that drew me back to the sweet sounds of Jamaica in 1993 after a year spent in the musical wilderness waiting to be inspired after 5 years listening, playing and DJ’ing ‘house’ which by then had made the transition from under to overground and was being used to to sell cat food, yoghurt, etc …

the male vocal comes from the pipes of the mighty Beres Hammond whose career stretches back to the early 70’s but for themusicologist it was throughout the 90’s that he established himself as one of Reggae’s greats. one of those rare artists who rarely seem to put a foot wrong, (Bobby Bland is another who springs to mind), this cat could charm the birds out of the trees with his blend of harmony, sincerity and effortless timing.

the female vocal is courtesy of the queen of Jamaican music .. Marcia Griffiths. whose career stretches way back into the sixties, first as solo singer, (1964), then in tandem with Bob Andy, (musicology #37), then as member of Bob Marley & the Wailers backing group the I-Threes.

this piece, (which I never tire of hearing), produced by Donovan Germain for his trend setting Penthouse label is a slice of the ‘College Rock’ rhythm from 1992/3, a ‘digital’ reworking of Jackie Mittoo’s late 60’s Studio1 cut ‘Freak Out’…

beautiful song sung expertly by two of Jamaica’s premier vocalists….one especially for all the couples out there who understand what it takes to hold on when the road is rough and rocky.

“live on….”

musicology #60

coversweek day 7 (Alton Elllis – Massachusetts)

last of the covers and what better way to call it a day than with the soulful voice of Alton Ellis, a foundation artist who helped shape the Jamaica sound that we know and love. To be honest I don’t know the original too tough, I’ve heard it a few times but for me Alton makes it his own.

taken from one of the first reggae LP’s I had the pleasure of procuring, full of top cuts, straight out of the top drawer and yet another from the Brentford road crew… (might have to make a separate category for Mr Dodd as time goes by).
ahhh, sweet music…

musicology #56

coversweek .. day #4 (I Shall Be Released – Heptones)

“I see the light come shining from the west up to the east … anyday now, anyday now… I shall be released”

top ranking piece of Studio1 ‘ sufferers’ action from one of the great Jamaican vocal groups. Leroy Sibbles was also musical director, arranger, bass player, producer, (along with Sylvan Morris) and all round musicologist for the Brentford Road powerhouse after Jackie Mittoo had packed his bags for Canada in 1971.

the lyrics are courtesy of Bob Dylan who may or may not have been aware of this cover due to the non existent copyright laws on the island … but i’m sure he would have approved as the group certainly brought something new to the song.

musicology #37

doublebubble .. day3

(Bob & Marcia – Always Together)

one of themusicologists favourite duets. this time from 1970 and the island of Jamaica. epitomising the sound of late 60’s early 70’s reggae and one that many a genuine rudeboy/skinhead would have moved to down at El Partido.

I have 3 versions of this, the UK mix/the dancehall 12″ and this one which, after much deliberation is the one that has come out on top. I love the 12″ just as much but it’s more of a specialists cut, (9 mins long), made for playing ‘in the dance’….

the male singer in the duet is also the songwriter, (one of Jamaicas finest poets), and I would imagine, for this session at least, is heavily involved in arrangement, production and final mix down. no prizes for guessing that its yet another Studio1 production.