Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Alton & Hortense Ellis|
Alton & Hortense Ellis
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop
Jamaican Motown (or Marvin and Tammy on Orange St.)
Brandon Burke | Lawrence, KS United States | 07/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD, to the best of my knowledge, was never a proper LP. Rather, it is a collection of singles. They are either duets or solo performances, from sometime in the mid to late-60's, the peak of the rock steady period (which was basically Jamaican interpretations of the Detroit and Memphis R&B scenes). To the unacquainted: Alton, at this stage in his career, was the Jamaican Marvin Gaye and on these performances espescially, the subtle nuances (use of breath sounds, vibrato, etc.) of his voice are without fault. He gives the impression that he can bend and shape a tone at will. Now, on the other hand, Hortense displays an Astrud Gilberto-esque innocence. It's as though she's singing, not as a professional but, as a result of having actually lived the tribulations behind these love songs. Amazing productiuon and engineering. Tactful and subtle musicianship. And other than the altered "Breakfast in Bed" (a racy little tune that, as the metaphors reveal themselves, makes one wonder how it actually recieved airplay), none of the songs have been remixed or dubbed over. These are classic rock steady performences that rival America's best and most soulful moments. I've got over a thousand records and this ranks among my favorites. If you've got friends that can't get past the (horribly misinterpreted) hippie stigma of reggae, this is the record that will win them over!"
Sean M. Kelly | Portland, Oregon United States | 09/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't add much to the excellent review given by the prior writers (kudos for that review- excellent!!! I'm glad there are other Ellis fans out there), so I will only add what I can to help strengthen their review.This collection was not a proper lp at any point, though it should have been. The songs are first rate examples of Ellis' rocksteady power. "Willow Tree" was a hit for him in late '66, and "People Make the World Go Round" was also a minor hit; so my guess would be that these songs were recorded around the late summer to fall of '66 (remember, technology was basic then- many lps were recorded live in the studio, as overdubbing was not yet common, especially in Jamaica- until King Tubby and Scratch got their paws on such machinery).As for "Breakfast In Bed," it is no worse than the Heptones' banned clasic "Fattie Fattie" though the point is well taken as to how it got radio play..who knows when it comes to censorship?As always, Ellis showcases his soulful voice to great effect on this collection, and his powers were rarely sharper. This lp, along with any others that showcase his Studio One output ("Sunday Coming," "Sings Rock and Soul") come very highly recommended. Delicious."