Tag Archives: Rising Tide

Less jazz and more roots on Harrison Stafford’s One Dance

harrisonstafford_theprofessorcrew-onedance_01U.S. reggae band Groundation’s lead vocalist and front man Harrison Stafford is a man with many hats. Lecturer, music producer, movie producer, musician and singer are some of his talents. He’s probably best known for his work with Groundation, but already in 2011 he started a solo career as Professor with the album Madness, recorded after a pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine.

Now when Groundation is on a break he has a new project under his own name – Harrison Stafford & The Professor Crew. The first album One Dance was recorded in Jamaica in 2015 with seasoned musicians like drummer Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace and bass man Errol “Flabba” Holt.

One Dance is less progressive and more straight-forward compared to Groundation. It’s more traditional roots reggae owing quite a lot to Bob Marley heydays in the mid-70s, particularly album opener Jah Shine and the pulsating Morality, but with a number of detours, for example One Dance, the first single off the album, which is a jaunty ska tune with minor electro influences.

The Music is an infectious tribute to reggae itself with its breezy mento-inspired rhythm, sounding like something Steely & Clevie could have composed in the late 80s, but with live instrumentation.

Harrison Stafford’s bandmates in Groundation also have a solo project – Rising Tide – and their self-titled debut album dropped in March. That set is more traditional Groundation with lots of influences from jazz, funk and soul. One Dance is less jazz and more roots.

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Funky and sensual on Rising Tide’s debut album

Core members of internationally renowned U.S. reggae band Groundation has formed a new outfit – Rising Tide – and they have recently put out their self-titled debut album.

Harrison Stafford – lead vocalist and front man in Groundation – is not onboard the project and is expected to drop a solo piece later this year. And for those who are fans of Groundation, but struggle with Harrison Stafford’s nasal singing style, much like myself, will be very pleased with this set.

Rising Tide has on this album created an earthy sound combining elements of roots reggae, jazz, R&B and funk. It’s a cohesive set with a variety of singers sharing vocal duties, including songstresses Kim Pommel, Sherida Sharpe, Faith Waltson and Roselyn Williams along with French singjay Naâman, the Garnett Silk-influenced Lymie Murray and SOJA’s Jacob Hemphill.

The music reflects the 70s with jazzy improvisations – almost jam band like – and several songs are stretched out taking unexpected directions. The grooves are soft and sensual, just listen to the mystic Young, Strong and Beautiful, and funky and cool, check a cut like Positive Vibes, which sounds like legendary funk band Parliament could have recorded in a smoky Kingston studio.

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