Vin Gordon aka Don D Junior – a nickname in honour of legendary Jamaican trombonist Don Drummond – is one of Jamaica’s many musical giants. Just as Don Drummond he’s a bone fide champion on his trombone and started recording at Studio One in the mid-60s. He has played on countless of classics and worked alongside great artists and bands such as The Wailers, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, The Heptones and Delroy Wilson.
Together with his nine piece band Real Rock he has just put out a brand new album titled after his biggest composition as a solo artist. Together with keyboard ace Jackie Mittoo, Vin Gordon was responsible for both Heavenless and Real Rock, two massive reggae anthems that have been versioned again and again and again.
In addition to two versions of Heavenless and a rendition of Tommy McCook’s rootsy Revenge the album collects four brand new compositions. It’s a beautiful seven track set that is largely instrumental. The set is produced and mixed by the great Nick Manasseh and it’s a warm and organic journey led by gracious horns and supplemented by smattering percussion and roaring bass lines.
The market isn’t flooded by instrumental horn sets these days. It’s a pity as clearly showcased on this masterful album.
A while ago I wrote about two exciting dub releases from LA’s Dub Club, aka producers Tom Chasteen and Tippa Lee. The vocal counterpart has just hit the shelves and it’s even better than the initially released dub albums.
Foundation Come Again collects 20 tracks voiced by 21 Jamaican sound system legends and one newcomer, Natty King. The album is solely based on relicks of a number of immortal and scorching riddims, including gems such as Heavenless and Drum Song, both originally recorded at Studio One in the 60s, and versioned abundantly in the days of early dancehall, when some of the icons on this album had their heydays.
But it’s not only the music that gets a relick, some of the artists reuses lyrics originally sung in the 70s and 80s. Lone Ranger, for example, uses some of the lyrics from his Sat Upon the Rock, and Welton Irie, checks lyrics from his dark and grim Jah Come.
The musicians – especially the riddim section – involved in this project take a relentless taking-no-prisoners-approach to executing the pulsating and thumping riddims into deadly sonic punches. And there are so many highlights on this album I really don’t know where to begin or to end.
You have the ghostly chanting from Dillinger on Around the World, Little Harry’s fiercely aggressive Revolution or Brigadier Jerry & Ranking Joe’s hypnotic head-nodder Meditation Trance. Then there’s 17 other almost equally as great tracks by icons such as Big Youth, Trinity, Jim Brown, the late Ranking Trevor and the sadly under-recorded Tullo T.
Foundation Come Again is definately not your ordinary album of relicks. This one is something else.