On Luciano’s third album in 2014 he has once again joined forces with UK dub legend and mixing maestro Mad Professor. Their Deliverance effort from last year was a strong set and its follow-up Luciano at Ariwa is yet another solid slice of rootsy reggae and smooth lovers rock, recorded with live instrumentation, including horns by no other than veteran saxophone player Dean Fraser.
And just as Deliverance this set comes in a showcase format, i.e. each of the six vocal cuts – seven if you get the digital copy which includes a remix with U Roy – are followed by their dub counterparts, where Mad Professor and his sons Joe and Kamal turn up the bass and treats the mixing board as an instruments of its own.
Luciano has always been heavily inspired by the late and great Dennis Brown, and that influence is just as prominent on this set as it was on Deliverance, especially on a version of Dennis Brown’s Have No Fear. Luciano also covers John McLean & Dego Ranks’ slick Special Kind of Love and For the Love of Money. On the latter Luciano also showcases his deejay skills.
Luciano is an extremely productive singer and it’s not unusual for him to drop two or three albums each year, but they rarely have the same high quality as the two albums now released by Mad Professor.