musicology #0625

The Agony Of Power #1

Hemsley Morris & Phil Pratt – Little Things

Been Rockin’ Steady these past few weeks with the sweet sounds of Jamaica as the, (primary), soundtrack and the writings of one of my most cherished and respected guides and companions on the journey; Jean Baudrillard whose insights I featured a selection of last year, (Fragments), on themusicologist.

Inspiration is the key for themusicologist to rise up to throw down and often the seed is sown by music and literature and this theme is no exception..

The quotes in this series, (beginning today), belong to Baudrillard…highlited from a collection of his speeches and essays entitled ‘The Agony Of Power’

The musical wisdom is courtesy of Hemsley Morris, (Vocals), a collection of the cream of Jamaica’s instrumentalists from a pool of Cats such as Lynn Taitt, Tommy Mc Cook, Winston Wright, Gladdy Anderson, Vincent Gordon, Johnny Moore, Hugh Malcolm, ‘Easy Snappin’, Clifton ‘Jackie Jackson’, Drumbago, Herman Marquis…and the producer, (none other than one of the great Jamaican musicologists), George ‘Phil Pratt’ Phillips who is also harmonising on this wicked cut.

So without further delay hold this quote and listen tune…

“In order to grasp how globalization and global antagonism works, we should distinguish carefully between domination and hegemony. Domination is characterised by the master/slave relation, which is still a dual relation with potential alienation, a relationship of force and conflicts. It has a violent history of oppression and liberation. There are the dominators and the dominated-it remains a symbolic relationship. Everything changes with the emancipation of the slave and the internalisation of the master by the emancipated slave”


musicology #299

JamaicanVocalGroupAction #10

(Mighty Diamonds – Have A Little Mercy)

Penultimate cut of the Jamaican Vocal Group selection…listening back over the proceedings I can’t help noticing that it has been heavily weighted in favour of the 60’s and with hindsight perhaps I should have called it ‘Sixties Jamaican Vocal Group Action’…still, hindsight is not all it’s cracked up to be as “too much thought spoils the action” in my opinion so even though there’s only two cuts from outside of the ’60’s, (make that 3 with todays), I hope this hasn’t dulled your enjoyment over the last couple of weeks.

Today’s outing on themusicologist is one from the Channel One stable which ruled the dancehalls, turntables and airwaves back in the mid 70’s after Coxsone lost the crown following major departures such as Jackie Mittoo, Leroy Sibbles and most of his big selling artists in search of a fairer deal. Channel One was set up by the Hookim Brothers and had the premier ‘Lab’ on the Island as well as the hottest young engineers and musicians such as Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespere and Don D Junior as well as stalwarts such as ‘Marquis’, Sticky and Tommy Mc Cook.

This cut features the vocal abilities of Donald ‘Tabby’ Shaw, Fitzroy ‘Bunny’ Simpson and Lloyd ‘Judge’ Ferguson known collectivley as ‘The Mighty Diamonds’ making a heartfelt plea to the establishment to ‘Have A Little Mercy’


musicology #226

communication #4

(Alton Ellis – Breaking Up)

today’s slice of the communication pie is a 1968 cut credited to Tommy McCook and the Supersonics, (The Treasure Isle musical backbone), with no mention of the singer anywhere on the label. It is, of course, delivered in finest style by the unmistakeable voice of the Godfather of ‘Rock Steady’, Alton Nehemiah Ellis who, as some of you know, passed away this month.

Probably better known for his Studio1 version, this is the one he cut for Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid’s, (The Trojan), musical powerhouse, Treasure Isle. Released on an early, (Orange label), Trojan 45. . such a top ranking early reggae classic that it’s ‘easy’ to pass over due to it’s familiarity but there’s a chance that some of you may not have heard it and more than that the message cuts especially deep for themusicologist at this time so it had to be flung down.

Alton, come in brother man and let the people know what you’re talking about.

“when you turn and you walk through the door…(ahhh ahhh)”