Ska, rocksteady and reggae have since their earliest days been heavily influenced by U.S. R&B, jazz, soul and funk, which has been showcased on several albums and compilations over the years.
And a fresh set from Japan’s Dub Store Records spotlights these influences again. On Reggae, Funk & Soul 1969-1975 20 gems produced by singer-turned-producer Derrick Harriott are highlighted. It’s a tasty mix of originals and cover versions, both instrumental and vocal cuts played and sung by some of Jamaica’s finest talents, including I Roy, Karl Bryan, Junior Murvin as well as Derrick Harriott himself along with his house band The Crystalites.
Derrick Harriott interprets both the music of American black consciousness as well as romance and affairs of the hearts. There’s also room for a few novelty tunes inspired by spaghetti westerns and composers like Sergio Leone.
It’s a diverse and sophisticated collection with superb cuts like Chosen Few’s version of Billy Paul’s Am I Black Enough For You, Bongo Herman’s Hail I, Crystal Generation’s funky, and slightly psychedelic, Hell Below, and The Kingstonians’ beautiful Right From Wrong, the only cut that’s previously unreleased.
File next to superb compilations like Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown 1973-1980 and Studio One Soul 1 & 2.