The King at work
Jackie Mittoo // Showcase // 1980
Ok, If you are familiar with Reggae and Dub than you know this is a classic but it doesn’t matter. It’s a classic for a reason and always worthy of mention. Jackie Mittoo is to Reggae and Dub what Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Larry Young, Chick Corea, and the like, are to Jazz. He was THE Keyboardist. This album shows why. The way he paces his playing, knowing precisely when to come to the forefront or disappear into the back. Keep in mind how when he disappears into the back he is actually still right in the front. He has this insane ability to make you think he’s not playing anymore.
This track showcases his moody and distant washes as well as his knack for some good old finger dancing magic.
Glen Brown & King Tubby // Termination Dub (1973-79) //1996
Good Lord! Sweet Lord! BRING DOWN BABYLON!! It’s moments like this that I doubt my atheism. King Tubby is the master. Not only the inventor of Dub but arguably the best ever at it even with his untimely and tragic death (gunned down at his home during a robbery). It’s so interesting and always surprising what parts of the track Tubby will decide to take out, bring back in, turn up, echo, etc, etc. With most Dub I find you can generally predict the moments something will swell out but with Tubby at the controls I am genuinely left utterly surprised and rendered speechless. It’s so subtle and in your face at the exact same time that I just can’t figure him out. In a league of his own for sure. His restraint is matched by no other Dub artist.
Now, I know I’ve raved on about Tubby but that’s not to take away from the ba-ba-ba-beefay rhythms Glen Brown presents us with. They are solid on their own merits. Truly! But it’s Tubby’s mixing that brings this to the altar of musical history.
Please enjoy a true master //
Mad Professor // Dub Me Crazy Crazy Pt. 4: Escape To The Asylum // 1983
He’s mental. He’s mad. He’s my professor. This album isn’t all that jazzy really but if you like adventurous music in general than this guy should make you quite happy and inspired. He’s like the Sonny Sharrock or Larry Young (think Lawrence of Newark) of Dub. That is too say that he didn’t invent the stuff, he was taught by the masters (Lee Perry specifically) but boy did he try some new things out. This is a tame album for him too. So in the same way that Sonny and Larry were backing musicians who, in my opinion, eventually cut some of the best and most exciting Jazz albums to come out, Mad Professor did so within the Dub idiom. He was also one of the first to incorporate digital effects into his recordings. I’ll leave you two tracks from this album as one shows a more wild side and the other showcases that he’s not all madness and can be quite sensitive too.
White House Race