Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Good introduction to one of ska/reggae's great popularisers.
darragh o'donoghue | 05/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The opening ten tracks of this compilation give an astonishing taste of the burgeoning popularisation of ska, reggae and calypso in late 1950s and 60s Jamaica (local celebrity Ian Fleming was a fan, and Lee made a cameo appearance in 'Dr. No'). Mostly instrumental, tracks like 'Soul Serenade' and 'Elizabethan Reggae' achieve a haunting, hypnotic effect by means of a slow-burning rhythm, melancholy melodies, the cicada-like percussion and keening organs, and the evocative, atmospheric, old-school production. Faster tracks like 'VC10 Calypso' exhilerate without abandoning wistfulness. And, at the risk of heresy, the gloriously mellow cover of 'Shaft', which retains the original's basic structure, and yet is blissfully transformed by its reggae setting, is arguably superior to Isaac Hayes' now-hackneyed classic. When Lee reaches the 1980s, and his hugely successful soca period, the music becomes more formulaic, anthemic and way over-produced. There is still fun to be had - 'Mas in Brooklyn' combines a gospel-like fervour and a love of party with a sadness at being far from home; while 'Bacchanal Time' miraculously approximates its title."