Cyril X Diaz and his Orchestra 10″ 4 track EP on Soundway
I first ran into this tune when Phil Etgart played it to me, as the blueprint for the Gaylads and later Dennis Brown’s – ‘Africa’. It was a revelation then, and seeing as it’s a stand up tune in its own right, one worth having, now that I’ve got over my shock and delight at the historical note it plays on the Bamboo flute that is Jamaican musical history, I bought TWO copies, one for me, and one for my musical spar House of Reggae’s Ian Causer.
Up until recently it was only available as a traded MP3, or on a rare Cook 45rpm that last went for about £70 for a poor quality copy on eBastards or perhaps on an even rarer 78rpm, who knows, I don’t think anyone I know has ever seen one, let alone bought it on 78, but there are rumours!!!.
The tune according to the sleeve notes on the 10″ Lp (I’ll get to it in a second) states that ‘Taboo, is a famous Cuban standard that has been covered countless times. The song was written by the mezzo-soprano Margarita Lecuona, the neice of famous Cuban composer, pianist and bandleader Ernesto Lecuona’.
Though I’d heard of Ernesto Lecuona, I didn’t know, 1. It was originally Cuban in origin, 2. That it wasn’t written by Diaz, and 3. Was a famous standard. It’s crazy just how long some great music takes to permeate, how many times it has been or can be ‘re-discovered’ and why the hell a tune this good eluded me (or you for that matter) for so long.
A Short time ago a double cd of Jamaican chart music from the end of the 50s included the other version/recording of Diaz’s version of this tune, I wrote about that issue here – https://bigmikeydread.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/looking-back-the-jamaican-chart-hits-of-1958-1959/ but this latest 10″ EP features this song and three others, all worth inclusion and almost as essential, particularly Voodoo, which partners Taboo (or Tabu as it’s sometimes known) one the A side. Though you will find the version of Taboo on the 10″ is a different arrangement than that previously heard on the Cook 45rpm and the cd album mentioned above (I think, well I’m pretty sure, it could be the Monaural reproduction of the 60s Dansette I’m listening to it on as I write distorting it’s sonic sensibilities I guess…).
Though the 10″ will set you back a fair penny, as it’s a ltd edition pressing, I heartily recommend you go get your copy, it’s a show stopper!
Tracks are –
A1 CYRIL DIAZ & HIS ORCHESTRA TABOO
A2 CYRIL DIAZ & HIS ORCHESTRA VOODOO
A3 CYRIL DIAZ & HIS ORCHESTRA CHIVE SOUP MERENGUE
A4 CYRIL DIAZ & HIS ORCHESTRA SERENAL
Dance A Dub – Produced by Dennis Brown and Junior Delgado
Released in 1978 on the ‘Incredible Jux’ label in Jamaica and also in the UK a year before the vocal set from Junior Delgado. This album is constructed of Dub versions of songs on Junior Delgado’s album for DEB records ‘Effort’. It is rare and sought after and on listening you will realise why,…. it is a very fine Dub album indeed. It regularly sells for £100+ and some say only 500 copies of the original Lp were pressed.
The eponymous first track is particularly impressive with a blasting horn line and ‘Instra Dub’ feel. A tune that will have you perking up your ears and freeing up your mind. Two of the tracks on side 2 have such heavy bass lines that it’s suprising the needle isn’t leaping out of the groove to avoid being torn asunder by sonic malevolence from the planet of outer dubwise! Beware your Bass Bins, if they’re poorly constructed you’re going to end up with a pile of chipboard on your floor!
Who Dubbed it though?
But just who did the work on the Lp. Roots Archives credit a number of artists/engineers as having had an input into the Lp, namely – King Tubby, Jammy, Sylvan Morris, Maxie and Soljie. I have to say that on listening there is nothing about the style of Dub that reminds me of King Tubby, there is very little aggressive high pass filter work on it, a characteristic of Tubby’s ‘style’, Sylvan Morris is not particularly renowned for his Dub outings, though he did Dub entire Lps, Maxie also seems less likely the main Dub ‘Engineer’ in that he produced few straight Dub Lps and was Channel One’s desk man where the original Vocal set that became ‘Effort’ was partly recorded. Finally Soljie doesn’t show up credited on any Lp as engineer pre the early 1980s, making it less likely that he was involved I think.
I believe that most of the work shows the signature style of Prince Jammy. He is not associated with the Vocal set and he would at this time most likely have had access to Tubby’s desk. Having returned to Jamaica in 1975 from Canada it would fit that he could be the main ‘Dubber’ of the tracks here on Dance A Dub. His style has always sounded straighter and plainer and importantly cleaner than Tubby’s, with less use of the filtering Tubby is well-known for. He also uses echo in a way that fits the sound of Dance A Dub, he let’s echo feedback less and keeps his signals clean. Whatever the desk was that was used for the mixing of the album it had a slider or fader pot with some dust in as often when the channel is dropped behind the other tracks and effects that are returning you can hear the tell-tale crackle of a fader that need ‘oiling’. Strangely this might make it less likely that it was Tubby’s desk, as he was known to keep his equipment clean and well-maintained!
Don’t worry if you can’t find a copy for a reasonable price though, the Lp was re-released in 1997 on a label called Big Cat on Lp and on Cd I am told.
Here are some details for the train spotters amongst you, if you think you have found the original pressing of this Lp.
JUNIOR DELGADO AND THE RAGGAMUFFINS – ‘DANCE A DUB’
Label = INCREDIBLE JUX, no catalogue number given on Lp sleeve or label.
The Matrix in the run off groove of side one is – DSR 9690 A D.T. J.D. P.M. Produced by DENNIS BROWN / JUNIOR DELGADO and released in 1978, the pressing is obviously Jamaican, though a UK address is also given on the label. Distributed by Cash and Carry records / Kingston Jamaica.
DEB Label – Cat: DEB LP 010 produced by DENNIS BROWN / JUNIOR DELGADO pressed in France / released UK 1979.
The original Vocal Lp from which the Dubs are sequentially taken is Effort, produced by Junior Delgado and Dennis Brown for Brown’s DEB label.
Recorded at Channel One and Joe Gibbs in Jamaica, the Engineers are given as Errol Thompson, Sylvan Morris and Delgado himself. It is of interest that the Vocal Lp came out in ’79, a year after the Dub Lp, which is unusual.
Rather wonderfully there are some fantastic Players on the Lp and therefore on the Dance A Dub lp too, – They are:~
Sly Dunbar, Leroy Horsemouth Wallace and Santa on Trap Drums /
Robbie Shakespeare, Errol ‘Flabba’ Holt and Leroy Sibbles on Bass /
On Lead Guitar, Chinna, Bo-Pe, Sowell and a player I’ve never heard of before called Little D. /
On Rhythm Guitar, Bo-Pe, Dennis the Crown Prince Brown himself, and Bingie Bunny /
Piano Duties went to Dennis Brown, Bubbler, who may be Franklyn ‘Bubbler’ Waul and Gladdy Anderson.
Organ gets pumped by Winston Wright and Earl ‘Wire’ Lindo /
Percussion is by Scully and Sky High /
Horns are – Dean Fraser, Deadly Headly Bennett, Bobby Ellis, Nambo Robinson, Lloydie and Sico (Sico? A who dat?) /
Strings are credited to Augustus Pablo and Earl Lindo
… but best of all on Backing Vocals there were – The Manning Brothers, Leroy Sibbles, Dennis Brown, Junior Delgado and The Heptones (the rest of them I guess!).
All this reads like a convention of the biggest and best at just about the height of many of their careers….
And now the opportunity to hear both Lps side by side!
There are a few Dub albums that the Dub-heads want and ‘Dub A Dance’ is one of them. It’s created from rhythms laid down and used for Effort the Lp from Junior Delgado, indeed the Lp is produced by Dennis Brown and Jux, the Dub Lp also.
Enjoy this rare chance not only to hear one rare to hear Lp, but another alongside it as Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio plays the vocal versions to the Dub versions, in the order of the original Dub A Dance Lp.
Dub Session…. begin…..
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