Since Gregory Isaacs’ untimely death last year several tribute albums and tunes have appeared. The earliest was The Tamlins & Naggo Morris & Dillinger & Trinity’s Oh What A Story on a relick of one of Gregory Isaacs’ biggest tunes – Soon Forward.
Other notable releases include saxophonist Dean Fraser’s all-star project We Remember Gregory Isaacs, Suga Roy & Conrad Crystal’s Universal Tribute to Gregory Isaacs and VP’s compilation Gregory Isaacs – The Ruler 1972-1990.
The latest addition is Tad’s Records‘ two disc compilation The African Museum + Tads’s Collection II, and follows in the footsteps of the first part released in 2007. It includes 41 tracks from Gregory Isaacs’ sublime catalogue spanning from the 70’s up until his more recent material. Part of the proceeds from the sales of the album will benefit the Gregory Isaacs Foundation.
Gregory Isaacs and Tad’s Records CEO Tad Dawkins have a musical history together, so this compilation naturally includes some of his productions, such as All I Have is Love Love Love, Tenement Yard and Continent Woman, all of which were recorded in the mid 80’s.
Other producers include Gregory Isaacs himself, Winston “Niney” Holness, Sly & Robbie and Errol “Flabba” Holt, with whom Gregory Isaacs recorded his smooth international hit song Night Nurse, included here in a delightful extended version.
It’s clear that several of the songs on this compilation overlap with those on VP’s The Ruler 1972-1990. However, the latter also includes a bonus DVD and extensive liner notes.
Gregory Isaacs’ catalogue is certainly strong enough for two compilations, and both sets are a great mix of lovers and cultural tunes, on which Gregory Isaacs’ showcases his slick, laid-back style. Always cool, always easy and always excellent.