Acclaimed U.S. jazz drummer, producer and composer Ted Sirota decided a while ago to pay tribute to the music he had been in love for the past 30 years or so.
The project started with a successful Kickstarter campaign where Ted Sirota and premier dub wizard Scientist managed to raise 25,000 dollars. The funds were invested in Scientist Meets Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub, a 14 track album recorded, mixed and mastered by Scientist.
The album title suggests a straight dub set, but this is not the case. A number of the cuts lean more towards instrumentals and songs such as Yanira and Saro-Wiva have lots of vocals thrown into the mix. A good thing that makes the album more diverse than a traditional dub effort.
Roots reggae, jazz, ska, hip-hop and dancehall are the main influences, and highlights include versions of Johnny Osbourne’s Give a Little Love and Randy Newman’s Baltimore, immortalized by Sly & Robbie’s highly successful take on it. Both cuts give the originals a run for their money.
Scientist and Ted Sirota also pay tribute to the late and great Jackie Mittoo and King Tubby. The former via the organ lead spaced out Jackie-Me-Too! and the latter through Tubby, a bass and percussion driven dancehall scorcher with honking saxophone and trombone echoing in and out of the mix.
Scientist Meets Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub is maybe not the bass heavy punch that the title proposes, but it contains several inspired mixes and the instrumentation is superb throughout.