There is nothing within the Dub world that Lee Perry hasn’t done. He is a true musical visionary. On top of that he is easily one of the most interesting and also bizarre people in musical history. If you don’t believe me watch these bizarre Guinness ads he did a few years ago.
For any Fall fans out there I’ve recently been toying with the idea that Lee Perry and Mark E. Smith are one and the same. Mad geniuses.
If after getting to know Lee Perry a little more you still think of Flavor Flav as a true eccentric and not just some dude who caught on to the brilliance that is Lee “Scratch” Perry than I think you will have a lot of things to worry about in your future because you are a moron. Sorry.
Onto the music. No one is as shocking as Lee Perry. I know in Part 2 I had mentioned that King Tubby never fails to surprise me, this still remains true, but even more so in terms of head spinning confusion and complete bewilderment Lee Perry reigns supreme. He’s done the chilled out Dub for a late summer’s night. He’s also done the most mental, effected dub I’ve heard. For example his track “Dub Plate Pressure” is like Miles Davis circa Dark Magus. That is to say, fantastically bonkers!
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.
Jeremy Taylor & Friends // Reggae Interpretation of Kind of Blue (Recorded in 1981. Released in 2009)
Jeremy Taylor, a music professor at NYU and jazz musician himself had this to say in his 1979 book, “A Space Between:”
My first trip to Jamaica (May 1977) was the most eye-opening musical experience of my life. I met so many incredible players who had been brushed off by the snobby musical establishment…..I had to find a way to showcase their unparalleled talent in a different medium and this was the spark that lit the fire to create this reggae tribute to Miles Davis’ best selling jazz album of all time.
Now, I normally regard albums like this as throw-away camp but in this case it’s truly a great album and it really showcases the talent these Jamaican musicians had and still have.
So, for those Jazz fans completely unfamiliar to Reggae this is a perfect place to start.
*Note: The heavy vinyl crackle passes after about 30 seconds