Tuesday, October 14, 2008

U Roy - Jah Son Of Africa

U Roy - Jah Son Of Africa

Generally, the mighty U ROY is considered to be the originator of Toasting. Long before RAP was there, in Jamaica the Deejays were chatting (toasting) over music already. So one could say, that U ROY is the Godfather of Rap. And this CD is considered by some to be the best U ROY album so here you have it!

Jah Son of Africa is actually released in the year 1978 and it is recently published again. The album has no bonus tracks; it's just the original album containing 9 tracks, but the fact it is placed in the mid-price section compensates this abundantly! Especially because this is an "all killer, no filler" type of album.

One of the nice aspects of Toasting, is the interaction between the singer and the toaster. You'll hear a few lines of singing, and then U Roy responding to that. When the singers sing about worries, for example, U Roy will respond with a comforting message about JAH JAH taking care.

The set starts with a killer version of Bob Marley's militant anthem "Exodus". It's not played by the Wailers, however, but by the Gladiators. More original Gladiators recordings on this album are "Rivers Of Babylon" and "Herbman Skanking" (Stick A Bush). But it's not only the Gladiators who contributed, there's also Ken Boothe, Judy Mowatt and Brent Dowe. A significant part of the CD is drummed by Horsemouth, one of Burning Spear's original drummers and one of the main characters in the reggae movie "Rockers", a classic in itself. The other parts are played by Sly Dunbar, one of the tightest drummers ever to walk on the face of the earth.

Without apology, I would say this album is a must in your collection. It contains the best elements of one of the best times in reggae. Hard riddims, a lot of dub mixing (echo's), serious lyrics, and all this in mid-price!


Some additional Information found on the Internet: "I am working here from memory but if this is the U Roy album that begins with the airplane taking off (one of his best, IMO) then the original was never released and there is a very interesting story behind it.

That album was originally recorded by Tony Robinson as an album by the Gladiators. For some reason unknown to me, Tony gave the album over to U Roy and never released the vocal LP. If you listen closely to the original vocal tracks in the mix, you will recognize the voice of Albert Griffiths who, needless to say, was not very happy about this.

Perhaps this decision was made based on what was at that time reported to be considerable success that U Roy was having with sales in Africa but I can not verify that. What I can say is that it is one hell of a U Roy album. That explains why there are no "originals" to these toasts." LINK

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