Tag Archives: Coxsone Dodd

Precious gems on Money Maker

MoneyMaker_COVER (1)The latest release in the new Studio One reissue program is a rare album from the early 70s. Money Maker was pressed in scarce quantities at the time and wasn’t reissued until 2002 when a limited edition – with bonus cuts – appeared. Both fetch large sums these days.

This new reissue is the original album with ten tracks and comes with the original “cash” artwork as well. It collects primarily instrumentals played by Studio One in-house bands The Sound Dimension, The Soul Brothers and The Soul Vendors joined by Im & Dave, Ernest Ranglin, Jackie Mittoo, Lloyd Williams and The Boss himself, Clement “Coxsone” Dodd.

Many riddims are familiar from vocal cuts by the likes of The Wailing Souls and The Heptones and have been versioned countless of times. The versions on Money Marker are stunning. Just listen to the ultra-funky Mixing with Jackie Mittoo putting his organ on fire or the Im & Dave’s marvellous version of John Holt’s A Love I Can Feel.

It has been remastered from the original session tapes and the sound quality is way beyond expectation. Unfortunately it’s a North America release only.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Record reviews

Rare Studio One albums scheduled for reissue

utre_WailingWailersCOVER_1Reissues of albums and singles from legendary Jamaican studio and label Studio One have surfaced over the years on labels such as Soul Jazz and Heartbeat. And now another label joins the reissue game.

Many of the label’s essential albums have been out of print for decades and now Studio One, in conjunction with the Yep Roc Music Group, will re-release titles from its catalog in their original formats, with track listings and album artwork intact, as well as new additions to the catalogue.

“We are excited for the opportunity to re-launch the Studio One brand and thankful for the trust that Carol Dodd and her team has afforded us. Through reissues of classic titles as well as new collections, we want our releases to reflect the history and legacy of Jamaica’s most iconic label. Here’s to the next 60 years!,” says Billy Maupin, GM of Yep Roc Music Group, in a press release.

The release schedule kicks off on May 27 with The Wailers’ debut album The Wailing Wailers. The reissue includes the original 1965 Jamaican masters and cover. The original LP version of the album has been out of print for decades, fetching huge sums from collectors, and the album has never before been released on CD with the original track listing and artwork.

The next release is a reissue of a compilation titled Money Maker, which has also been remastered from the original session tapes. It features a selection of cuts from acts like The Heptones, Burning Spear, The Wailing Souls and John Holt. The album is set for release on August 5.

Future 2016 releases from Studio One include the Studio One Radio Show taken from two 1970’s shows featuring the legendary host Winston “The Whip” Williams and a Don Drummond collection compiled by Clement Dodd himself before his passing in 2004 along with a box set to celebrate the label’s over 60 years of existence.

1 Comment

Filed under News

Soul Jazz showcases Studio One in the 70s

Layout 1Last year UK reissue label Soul Jazz released the three disc album Coxsone’s Music, a 46 track compilation covering a lesser known side of pioneering Jamaican producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd. It focused on his early days in the late 50s and early 60s.

Now the same label has turned to a significantly better known part of this music giant’s career – the 70s, a time when Coxsone Dodd started to reinvent his recordings and reversion classics from the 60s.

Coxsone Dodd and his main rival Duke Reid ruled the Jamaican music scene in the days of ska and rocksteady, but when new technology arrived and reggae took the island by storm in the late 60s both producers were challenged by eager and youthful producers like Joe Gibbs, Lee Perry and Bunny Lee. It was a challenging time for Coxsone Dodd and after the success with artists like Bob Marley & The Wailers, The Skatalites, Burning Spear and The Heptones his career was starting to decline.

But challenges and increased competition drive creativeness. And this was the case with Coxsone Dodd. He refused to be beat down and embraced changes. When the new players started to relick, or maybe copy is more accurate, many of the timeless riddims recorded at Studio One in the 60s, Coxsone Dodd answered and reinvented his own riddims in a contemporary style and fashion.

Studio One Showcase brings together a mighty fine selection of tracks from this period – the 70s and early 80s. A great number of Jamaica’s premier singers, harmony groups, instrumentalists and deejays show their skills. We’re talking Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne, Lone Ranger, Sugar Minott, Jennifer Lara, Cedric Brooks, The Gladiators, The Heptones and Wailing Souls along with a few more.

Several of these recorded at Studio One already in the 60s, but came back when Coxsone Dodd called. Others were rising stars keen to work with the man and the myth himself. Together they reinvigorated the label. They stripped the riddims and reshaped them and explored new musical horizons. This manifested a new era in reggae and marked the dawn of dancehall.

The story is well-put in the thorough liner-notes provided by Soul Jazz head honcho Stuart Baker, who also provides a track-by-track run-down. Excellent stuff.

2 Comments

Filed under Record reviews

Coxsone’s Music presents a lesser known side of Coxsone Dodd

SOJR323ALPThe late Jamaican producer extraordinaire Clement “Coxsone” Dodd is today probably best remembered for his recordings with the likes of The Skatalites, The Heptones and Bob Marley & The Wailers along with countless of others that started their recording career at his famous Studio One studio in the mid to late 60s.

But Coxsone Dodd started his career already in the 50s and recorded music well before ska and reggae. And his pre-reggae productions are now showcased on Soul Jazz’ monumental collection Coxsone’s Music: The First Recordings of Sir Coxsone the Downbeat 1960-62, a fascinating set featuring over two and half hours of early Jamaican proto-ska, rhythm and blues, jazz, Rastafari and gospel music.

The tunes collected, which clearly reflect the influences from shuffling U.S. rhythm and blues and jump jazz, were recorded in the years before Coxsone Dodd launched the mighty Studio One Records and are now brought together for the first time ever. And some of Jamaica’s most successful musicians and artists – including Don Drummond, Roland Alphonso, Ernest Ranglin and Derrick Harriott – are captured in their formative early years.

Coxsone Dodd was, along with Ken Khouri and Stanley Motta, one of the pioneers of the Jamaican recording industry and his story has been well-documented over the years, particularly by labels such as Soul Jazz and Heartbeat. But his earliest recordings haven’t received as much attention. Fortunately that has now been adjusted thanks to this thorough compilation, an album that also comes with excellent track-by-track liner notes by Studio One historian Rob Chapman.

1 Comment

Filed under Record reviews

Soul Jazz portrays the birth of a sound on Studio One Jump-Up

unnamedThe latest Studio One compilation from UK reissue giant Soul Jazz adds something new to their huge catalogue. It’s the first time they issue a compilation focusing on the bona-fide roots of reggae and the earliest sounds coming from Studio One and Clement “Coxsone” Dodd.

Studio One Jump-Up – The Birth of a Sound: Jump-Up Jamaican R&B, Jazz and Early Ska serves up a total of 20 tunes in many styles; from shuffle and R&B to ska and jazz.

This compilation starts from the beginning in the formative era. In the mid to late 50s Jamaicans were exposed to lots of U.S. R&B and producers like Clement Dodd merged these shuffling sounds with his own musical strains; calypso from Trinidad & Tobago and mento, a form of Jamaican folk music.

On this album you’ll find the roots of Studio One and a early R&B aficionado will probably recognize influences from aces like Louis Jordan and Fats Domino. But included is also cuts that adds something new, that adds something fresh to the rocking sounds. Count Ossie’s Another Moses is such a track, Don Drummond & Roland Alphonso’s Heaven and Earth is another. These two cuts are haunting and conscious and provided the foundation for what was about to come many years later – roots reggae.

This compilation is however mostly about party-starters and frenetic tempos. If you have a bad heart you might want to skip the joyous ska excitement of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Go Jimmy Go or the volcanic horns on Roland Alphonso’s Bongo Tango.

Studio One Jump-Up portrays a side of reggae that is sometimes overlooked – even though labels like Fantastic Voyage and Sunrise Records have done their fair share of reissues in this genre. “You have to know the past to understand the present” is an expression coined by U.S. astronomer Carl Sagan and it’s something Jamaican musicians might want to focus on now that they aim to reclaim global dominance in reggae.

1 Comment

Filed under Record reviews

SoulJazz nice up the dance with new Studio One compilation

401060SoulJazz – a premier reissue label from the UK – have for the past ten years or so put out about 30 albums focusing on one of Jamaica’s most well-known and influential producers – Clement “Coxsone” Dodd and his various labels.

The latest instalment – Studio One Dancehall – Sir Coxsone in the Dance: The Foundation Sound – is SoulJazz’ first reissue from the mighty vaults of Coxsone Dodd to focus solely on dancehall.

When dancehall started to emerge at the dawn of the 70s Coxsone Dodd noticed that several of the young and upcoming producers had their artists performing over re-played classic Studio One riddims. Naturally he also wanted a piece of the pie and brought forward emerging artists to record over his own riddims. The success was instant with acclaimed albums and singles from Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne, Lone Ranger and Sugar Minott, just to name a few.

And this new compilation focuses on that period, a period when Coxsone had singers and deejays riding classic Studio One riddims originally recorded in the 60s. It explores dancehall from a Studio One perspective, which is something rather different from, say, Junjo Lawes slick and polished productions.

Studio One Dancehall has the usual full, warm and organic sound, and it’s far from polished. It’s rough and raw, but at the same time innovative and creative. Lots of rare cuts, some in their extended version, are included – Green Tea & Chassy’s Getto Girl, Field Marshall Haye’s Roots and Herb Style, DJ Dawn & The Ranking Queens’ Peace Truce Thing and Brentford Disco Set’s Rebel Disco, are a few that at least I haven’t come across before.

This is yet another successful release from the SoulJazz camp and it comes as CD, digital download and triple LP.

1 Comment

Filed under Record reviews

Pure quality on new Studio One compilation

95d501d1210767b4cbd33cde61b2c34e.image.250x235Japanese label Rock A Shacka/Drum & Bass Records is a reliable source for quality reissues, and their latest compilation is no exception.

Sugar & Spice – 14 Studio 1 Rock Steady Sure Shots collects several hard to find sweet rock steady gems from groups such as The Kingstonians, The Viceroys, The Invaders, The Termites, The Wrigglers and The Octaves as well as artists like organ maestro Jackie Mittoo and melodica player Joe White.

These soulful cuts were recorded in the late 60s and includes the original versions of Freddie McGregor’s Bandulo and Need More Love in the Ghetto.

It’s a mix of instrumentals and vocal versions and it’s definitely not a hit and miss affair. All 14 tracks are killers. No fillers accepted.

British revive label Soul Jazz has reigned the Studio One reissue business for years, even though there have been a number of quality releases from Japan, mostly on 7”. So this high quality album is a very welcome addition.

Sugar & Spice is only released on vinyl and comes complete with interesting sleeve notes – track by track – by Chris Lane.

1 Comment

Filed under Record reviews

Studio One Ironsides has breadth and depth

studio-one-ironsidesWhen browsing the track list of the new Studio One compilation Studio One Ironsides on SoulJazz Records the title might be confusing for serious collectors, since it’s not entirely based on the output from legendary producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s imprint Ironside. A number of the cuts are taken from that particular label, but the bulk of the songs come from other imprints, such as Bongo Man, Money Disc, London and Coxsone.

Clement Dodd had a big number of labels and according to the excellent liner notes written by reggae historian Noel Hawks this might have been a way to trick radio DJ’s into playing his records, since radio DJ’s usually aren’t keen on playing too much music from the same source.

As with the previous Studio One compilation – the excellent Studio One Sound – SoulJazz have dug deep into the mighty archives of Studio One and the Ironsides album collects an incredible line-up of performers ranging from well-known singers and deejays such as Freddie McGregor, Alton Ellis and Lone Ranger to the obscure vocal groups The Stingers and The Soul Sisters.

The 18 tracks on this eclectic compilation are sheer and warm brilliance and, as the liner notes states, shows the breadth and depth of one of the most important labels in the history of reggae.

Studio One Ironsides hits the streets on January 21 in CD- jewel case with 24-page booklet with card slipcase as well as a heavyweight double-vinyl edition in deluxe strong gatefold sleeve (with full sleeve notes) and also as a digital download.

1 Comment

Filed under Record reviews

A great relaunch from Studio One and Soul Jazz

Many artists, producers and labels in the world of reggae music aspire on being the founder of the genre. Who invented reggae and where it was invented could probably be a topic for near endless discussions.

One man who would certainly pop up in such a conversation is Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, producer and founder of Studio One, a business that covered almost every aspect of the music industry – soundsystem, pressing plant, auditioning, recording studio, publishing house and more.

Under his tutelage several singers and groups rose to international prominence and virtually every artist in Jamaica wanted to work for Coxsone in the 60’s and 70’s.

Among the artists that recorded at Studio One you’ll find some of the household names in reggae music. You name them and they’ve probably cut at least one track 13 Brentford Road in Kingston 5, where the studio was located until it closed down in 1979, when Coxsone got tired of the violence and moved to Brooklyn, New York.

Some of the most acclaimed artists that recorded at Studio One is featured on the compilation The Legendary Studio One Records: Original Classic Recordings 1963-80 out now on Soul Jazz Records. It has been three years since the latest Studio One issue from Soul Jazz. And it is more than welcome.

It contains a total of 18 tracks that covers ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub and dancehall and is something a sampler with well-known and lesser known artists and tunes.

Included are The Skatalites scorching Ball of Fire and Michigan & Smiley’s pulsating Rub a Dub Style in a brilliant extended version complete with sound effects.

Other highlights include Prince Jazzbo’s haunting Rock Fort Dub and guitar virtuoso Ernest Ranglin’s beautiful instrumental Ranglin Doodlin’.

This compilation is a great relaunch of a very fruitful collaboration and according to the press release there are more to come in the end of the year. Bring it on!

The Legendary Studio One Records is available on CD, 2xLP and digital download.

Leave a comment

Filed under Record reviews

SoulJazz covers the art of Studio One

SoulJazz Records is about to put out a book on the cover art of legendary label Studio One, owned and run by one of the greatest producers in reggae music – Clement “Coxsone” Dodd (1932-2004).

Studio One is sometimes described as iconic as Motown was to jazz, or Blue Note for Jazz. Several of the most beloved and utilized riddims were originally laid for Studio One by musicians such as Jackie Mitto and Leroy Sibbles. Riddims like Full Up, Real Rock, Mean Girl and Satta Massagana saw the light at Studio One.

Chris Blackwell – founder of Island Records – has described Studio One as the University of Reggae. And there is some truth to that. Almost every well-known Jamaican artist from the 60’s and 70’s did recordings for the label – Bob Marley, Horace Andy, Alton Ellis, Burning Spear, The Abyssinians, Sugar Minott and many, many more.

The Cover Art of Studio One Records is edited by Stuart Baker and claims to be the first book ever  to tell the story of Studio One and the many artists whose careers it launched.

It features hundreds of full-size Studio One record cover designs and original artwork, as well as rare and exclusive photographs, original flyers and artist interviews.

Available on November 30th. File it right next to your copy of Stir it Up: Reggae Album Cover Art.

Leave a comment

Filed under News