Award-winning musician/actor/singer/songwriter and producer Jimmy Cliff is back with a fresh and sparkling attitude.
His new EP Sacred Fire – a pre-curser to an album due in April next year – is produced by Tim Armstrong, punk rocker and front man in Rancid.
But Jimmy Cliff’s Sacred Fire is neither conscious dancehall nor British ska. This is reggae heavily influenced by the sounds that came from Jamaican label Beverly’s run by late producer Leslie Kong, for whom Jimmy Cliff recorded in the beginning of his nearly 50 year long career.
Sacred Fire features one original, three covers and one dub version. Jimmy Cliff’s versions of punk anthems Guns of Brixton and Ruby Soho excel the original versions by The Clash and Rancid respectively.
The riddims and the backing are uncompromising and injected with loads of attitude. Jimmy Cliff singing is surprisingly low-key and peaceful, but with great sensibility and affection.
It’s not known if Tim Armstrong handles production duties on the full-length album as well, but I certainly hope so. Because this is a delicious teaser.
Sacred Fire is available as CD, digital download and a limited edition 12”, which includes the bonus cut World Upside Down.