Mento, not Calypso – Fantastic Voyage Double Cd to be released


Mento, not Calypso – Fantastic Voyage Double Cd to be released

mentonotcalypsoDue out on the 12th of August this year (2013) hopefully Mento lovers and the general music loving public will enjoy this double cd of Jamaica’s very own vintage music. With 51 songs in the main dubbed from 78rpm singles and some from hard to find early Long Playing Lps, there should be something on it that pleases the ears of Mento mad music lovers. At least I hope so, because I had the joy of compiling it.

Currently it’s available on pre-release on Amazon here – See it on Amazon

Entirely from my own collection

Entirely taken from my own collection of rare 78rpm discs, I am told that the track listing will be, as I submitted, please see below. Though the label Fantastic Voyage have not confirmed that as I write, it seems likely.

What the hell is on it then?

Many of the songs have never been widely available and even for the avid collector, may not be well known. Being able to include some of the songs from an album called MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND which likely features Lord Lebby and may have been produced by Stanley Motta for the hotel was for me a highlight. I tried really hard not to repeat too many songs that have already seen digital release, though did include some, where for instance they have only appeared once elsewhere, or have been duplicated on less than ‘pukka’ releases. I was helped in the dubbing/recording of the discs by Port O Jam, and I understand to some degree they have been ‘restored’ since, though until I hear the final cds, I won’t know how heavily. I hope they leave a good level of texture to the cd release, though understandably the hiss of a 78rpm record and the obvious scratches that walk with a recording that’s over 50 years old may not be to everyone’s taste.

Bases covered?

Hopefully I covered a number of bases, Rural Mento, Hotel Mento, both the rootsy and more commercial sounds, I wanted to include records created by the main movers in  Mento in the 50s and early 60s and so have included recordings produced by Chin, Tewari, Khouri and Motta, and sung by singers like Count Lasher, Lord Power, Harold Richardson etc. It also includes some of  the earliest recorded work by Lord Flea for Khouris pre Federal Times Record label.

At the same time hopefully I’ve made the two cd albums work in their own right, providing and entertaining overall ‘listen’ and not just a collection of individual songs.

Witter on why don’t you?

I won’t witter on, but I think it will be a more than welcome addition to anyone’s collection of Jamaican Mento, early Jamaican and Caribbean music. If you love Mambo, Cuban Jazz, Paranda, Ska or are a World Music and Folk fan, you’ll find loads on it to excite. Put it this way, If I hadn’t compiled it, or already collected the tunes, I’d be very very excited to get hold of a copy.

Tracklisting:

As I write this is the assumed track listing. Please excuse the Upper and Lower case . . .
cd1
01 Sir Horace and His Merry Knights  – Vocal – Horace Abrahams – Mambo Jamaica
02 TOWER ISLANDERS, THE – BROWN SKIN GAL
03 MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND (FEAT. LORD LEBBY) – RED HEAD
04 GEORGE MOXEY QUARTET – VOCALIST – CLYDE HOYTE – MONTEGO CALYPSO
05 LORD TICKLER – MEDLEY – SWEETIE CHARLEY – MR. PARNEY – MANGO WALK
06 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Mary’s Lamb – The More We Are Together
07 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Calabash
08 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Wheel And Turn Me
09 Chin’s Calypso Sextet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Give Her Love aka Woman’s Tenderness
10 Wigglers, The – Vocal – Denzil Laing – Limbo
11 Jamaica Boy (Denzil Laing) and his Kingston Calypso Orchestra – Man Is Smart, Woman’s Smarter
12 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – The Mighty Panther – The Talking Parrot
13 BABA MOTTA AND HIS ORCHESTRA (VOCALS BEN BOWER) – KITCH
14 LORD POWER – PENNY REEL
15 Dan Williams and his Orchestra – Vocal Lord Fly – Calypso – Whai Whai Whai
16 HAROLD RICHARDSON – GREEN GUAVA
17 Ticklers, The – Vocal – Harold Richardson – Hard Hearted Lover (Man Could A Smart)
18 COUNT LASHER WITH GEORGE MOXEY AND HIS CALYPSO QUINTET – THE OLE MAN’S DRIVE
19 Local Calypso Quintet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Honeymoon
20 MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND (FEAT. LORD LEBBY) – HOLD ‘IM JOE
21 TOWER ISLANDERS, THE – ADVICE TO MEN
22 Dan Williams and his Orchestra – Vocal Lord Fly – Transportation Kingston Style
23 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Donkey City
24 COUNT OWEN AND HIS CALYPSONIANS – TAKE HER TO JAMAICA
25 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Calypso Cha Cha Cha
26 Lord Power and His Calypsonians – Mambo La La

Cd2
01 Sir Horace and His Merry Knights  – Vocal – Horace Abrahams – Morgan’s Mento
02 Lord Power and His Calypsonians – Special Amber Calypso
03 LORD TICKLER – LIMBO
04 COUNT OWEN AND HIS CALYPSONIANS – BROWN SKIN GAL
05 REYNOLDS CALYPSO CLIPPERS – VOCALIST BOYSIE GRANT – TENOR BANJO – EDDIE BROWN – SOLUS MARKET
06 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal Lord Lebby – Ethiopia
07 Chin’s Calypso Sextet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Industrial Fair
08 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Dalvey Gal – Parson
09 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Miss Goosie
10 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Mattie Rag, Brown Skin Gal
11 Ticklers, The – Vocal – Harold Richardson – Parish Gal
12 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – The Mighty Panther – Cinemascope
13 MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND (FEAT. LORD LEBBY) – BACK TO BACK, BELLY TO BELLY
14 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Miss Daisy And Brown Skin Girl
15 Count Lashers Calypso Quintet – Vocal Count Lasher – Trek To England
16 George Moxey and his Calypso Quintet – Vocal by Joseph Clemendore (Cobra Man) – My Brother Calamity
17 CHIN’S SEXTET (VOCALS A. BEDASSE) – ADAM AND EVE
18 Jamaica Boy (Denzil Laing) and his Kingston Calypso Orchestra – Mary Ann, Brown Skin Gal
19 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Perseverence
20 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Ugly Woman
21 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Run Mongoose, Linstead Market
22 Count Lashers Calypso Quintet – Vocal Count Lasher – Water The Garden
23 MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND (FEAT. LORD LEBBY) – BLOODSHOT EYES
24 Local Calypso Quintet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Money Is King
25 TOWER ISLANDERS, THE – HOLD ‘IM JOE

Finally I wanted to sa:

‘I WOULD LIKE TO DEDICATE THIS RELEASE TO MIKE HINDLE, CHARLIE REGGAE, IAN CAUSER, PHIL ETGART & LOL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY, RICHARD NOBLETT, RON GEESIN AND THOSE INVOLVED IN THE BOOGU YAGGA GAL CD RELEASE FOR INSPIRATION, DAN NEELY & ALL MUSICAL ENTHUSIASTS EVERYWHERE, TO JAMAICA, & TO THE ORIGINAL ARTISTES AND PRODUCERS OF THESE SONGS, TO ALL FAMILY BUT MOST ESPECIALLY TO MY DAD BARRY MURPHY WHO ONCE RECORDED AND COMPILED AN LP FOR FOLKWAYS RECORDS & INSPIRED MANY MUSICALLY THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE.’
– THANKS ALL’

Bigmikeydred Reggae Radio meets House of Reggae – Brand New Second Hand


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This was such a pleasure, good fun with a good friend, nuff new tunes from a West London ‘that day’ trawl gave rise,..
Hope you enjoy the obvious frivolities…

Tracks are:

1.PETER TOSH – BRAND NEW SECOND HAND
2.GENERAL TREES – PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER
3.SIMPLE SIMON – CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
4.MICHAEL PALMER – GUNSHOT A BUST
5.EARLY B – SUNDAY DISH
6.JOSEY WALES – BOBO DREAD
7.ERROL SCORCHER – FROG IN THE WATER
8.DERRICK MORGAN – BETTER JAMAICA / DUB
9.DELROY WILSON – LOVE GOT ME DOING THINGS
10.DELROY WILSON – HAVE MERCY
11.JAH STITCH – FULL CONTROL
12.SELVIE WONDER & LUCIANO – NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
13.LUCIANO – JONAH
14.RETREAT!!! PLEASE RETREAT, BACK TO WHENCE YOU CAME!
15.CUTTY RANKS – RETREAT (SOUND BOY SURRENDER)
16.TERROR FABULOUS – COOL WHEN MI COME ‘BOUT
17.U-ROY – HAT TRICK
18.TALL MAN A DON
19.TRINITY – TEEN JAM
20.SHABBA – HARD N’ STIFF
21.JOSEY WALES – WANT NO A.I.D.S.

You can donate to Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio here – http://bigmikeydread.podomatic.com/ look down the right hand side and hit the Paypal button.
Your donations are the ONLY funding the show receives and are what keeps it going! – THANK YOU.

You can hook up with the show and Mikey at the Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio Facebook Group – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_5364049933

Thanks for listening, and come back soon for the bestest in Jamaican music, chat, sillyness, then and now. – all the best – Mikey

And you can read about interesting stuf on Mikey’s Blog at – https://bigmikeydread.wordpress.com/

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Lloyd Knibbs dies


Legendary Skatalites’ Drummer Lloyd Knibbs passes away.

Primarily known for developing the sound of Ska alongside the Skatalites Ska ‘Supergroup’ of the 1960s Lloyd Knibbs was a true foundation stone in the sonic wall of Jamaican sound. A pivotal point about which the music has since turned.

Legend has it that he started off his percussive career on little else than boxes and bean tins, and was taken on for his rhythmic apprenticeship by the likes of Sonny Bradshaw and Eric Deans, both highly respected band leaders of on island show bands in the early and pre-Ska days of Jamaican music.

Like so much else in Jamaica ‘the drums’ are a physical trace of the African current running through the islands cultural life and Knibbs carried and channeled this tradition. More than any other instrument, percusssion retains a thread of history and ancestry within Jamaican music and as a drummer Knibbs was the living embodiment of ‘Roots Music’.

Yet is was his role in generating and creating Jamaica’s first truly self-proclaimed musical style that draws main interest.

Ska took the form of pre independence excitement and mixed it with musical influences far and wide, American Jazz, Black US R&B, Mento and Calypso; yet in this re-configuration a new overview was required, a new glue to stick all these diverging elements together in the new form, that of Ska.

If you listen to the arrangement and instrumentation of a typical Ska piece, more than any other element in the whole, the rhythm and therefore the drumming were re-invented, re-styled, re-configured, adapted and re-arranged to shape Ska and it’s individuality. Knibbs was the most important Ska drummer on the island at that or any other time and he therefore was quite possibly the most important figure in and to Ska music, a style which once invented lives on to this day in countless bands Worldwide.

Post Ska Knibbs made all the right choices and went on to drum for Tommy McCook and the Supersonics, the chief house band at Treasure Isle and the slickest and possibly most influential of the Rocksteady era.

He was born in 1931 in Kingston Jamaica, and died of Liver cancer, having returned in the last hours of his life to Jamaica from the States where he had lived for some time on the 12th May 2011.

Father’s Day Top Ten Jamaican Songs


Cedric ‘Im Brooks and the Light of Saba – Song For My Father

Dennis Brown – Created By The Father

The Lyrics –  Hear What The Old Man Say

Pat Kelly – Daddy’s Home

Freddie McKay – Praising The Father

Lloyd and Patsy – Papa Do It Sweet

Luciano – Come Down Father

Derrick Morgan – Father Killam

The Maytals – Daddy

Sugar Minott – This Old Man

Calypso Date! MRS LOML 503 12″ Mento Lp


Oh that smile!

Calypso Date – MRS Lp LOML 503

For those Mento mad amongst you here are some details that I hope you will find of interest. Click on the images for larger versions of the files, and in the case of the rear cover, readable text, though I will include that text here for all to see. The sleeve notes are unusually well written and include descriptions of the songs and their background history in some cases.

Details:

LP    MRS    VARIOUS ARTISTES    CALYPSO DATE    LOML 503    SMOL 105 1B    STANLEY MOTTA    JAMAICA    1950s

(anyone out there have a date of release, if so please contact me here at Musical Traces)

Sleeve Notes:

The most remarkable feature of this album is its variety. Here is represented the whole broad gamut of Jamaica’s music, the sly, ironic humour, the warm spontaneity, the carefree and gay attitude towards life that is so much part of Jamaica. This music is bred of the brilliant colour and contrasts that inspire the Jamaican troubadour; and out of it flows the endless, subdued excitement that life in one of the world’s most beautiful islands inspires.

In this album are Calypsos and Mentos. The Calypso is the generic ballad of the Caribbean, the song that is inspired by the life of the community – the young girl who lives gaily but not wisely; the house with the leaking roof. These are the creations of Calypsonians who vie with each other to create songs of humour, of double meaning, of perceptive wit. The Mento is the music of Jamaica, the solid, thumping rhythm of music that in its beat and texture is subtly Jamaican, as distinguishable to the tuned ear as is the difference between the Merengue of Haiti and the Samba of Brazil. And there are the other ageless songs, those that are chanted by workmen as they bend their muscles to rhythmic work saved from monotony by song, or the gay song of welcome when the pretty young girl comes to visit.

These are the songs and the sounds of Jamaica, ever exciting and interesting, that will become familiar and beloved as you listen to them. This is the music of a beautiful land, inspired by its ageless hills and white sand beaches, its gay, laughing people and the rhythm of its sun-bright days. This is the music for you on your Jamaican date.

The songs:

SIDE 1

Linstead Market – The ackee is an attractive fruit of red, yellow and black, and when combined with salted cod makes one of the most popular native dishes. This song tells the sad tale of a higgler in the famous market of Linstead, on the road to Ocho Rios, who fails to find customers to buy her ackees at Saturday market.

The Naughty Little Flea – The humble flea occurs in the songs of many countries. If you listen carefully to the lyrics you’ll chuckle at the rather unique situation in which the little insect found itself.

Hill and Gully Ride – A rousing shout song that is used by Jamaican workmen. It follows the pattern of many rhythmic work songs in its responsive form, and is a folk song of rather more antiquity than the calypso which has been popular recently.

Matilda (and) Gal-A-Gully – The first is a Jamaican adaptation of a Trinidad song, one in which a hardworking young man is deceived by a scheming young miss who lifts his money and takes off for Venezuela. The second is Jamaican, the plaintive comment of a granny who asks her grandaughter just why she is going to the gully…’A Whey you-a go a-gully fa’.

This Long Time Gal A Never See You – A happy song of welcome, the lyrics of which are self-explanatory.

The Little Fly – Anyone who has had to clean a mirror can appreciate some of the more irritating habits of the fly. This song is one man’s comment.

SIDE2

Take Her To Jamaica – This song has become a standard in Jamaica. It is sung by calypsonians on all occasions and gives very good advice indeed.

Kitch – Lord Kitchener is one of the finest of the Trinidad calypsonians, and this song recounts his experiences with a rather insistent young lady.

Dry Weather House – It seldom rains heavily in Jamaica, but when it does all the defects of a house that is suited to dry weather show up.

Healin’ In De Balm Yard – The balm yard in Jamaica is the gathering place of members of a primitive evangelical sect. To balm yard gatherings they bring their troubles and woes where these can be banished.

Limbo – One of the most exciting dances, the limbo is done to a repetitious song that is almost hypnotic in its appeal. Some of the excitement and verve of this African ritual is caught in this song.

Brown Skin Gal – A young lady is told to take life more seriously. Rather than spend so much time living the high life, she is told to ‘Stay home and mind baby’.

Click to see bigger...

‘Looking Back’ – The Jamaican Chart Hits of 1958 & 1959


Fabulous double cd charts the tunes that influenced and gave rise to so much Jamaican musical output.

Just been turned on to a double cd out this year (2011) from Sunrise records, which collects mainly U.S. Pop and R&B tunes that were charting just as Jamaica’s own recording industry was developing into the world dominating force it would become.

Though Jamaica released its first home produced and recorded single 78rpm in 1952, it was the era of Ska music during and post independence that popularised Jamaican music worldwide. In the meantime homegrown sound systems were playing American Pop and R&B hits, interspersed with some homegrown talent & Jazz.

This double cd aims to collect some of those tunes together, many which were the blueprint for future Ska instrumentals, early and later Reggae vocal outpourings and whose influence are still being felt today.

Sleeve notes

Though of course the sleeve notes suffer from being legible only to mice or studious men with thick prescription lenses, such as they are contained within a cd booklet, they are however extensive and an education in themselves. Those that are behind this release have most certainly not skimped on effort!

Tabu

It’s one of very few places (and the cheapest by far) that you will find ‘Tabu’ by Cyril Diaz, the prototype for the Gaylads and then of course Dennis Brown’s ‘Africa’.

Flavour

And if you want to get a flavour for the music that turned Jamaicans on at the end of the 1950s this is a great place to start, and sure beats trying to pick up and pay for US R&B 78s from the USA.

Respect goes to Musical Traces friend Phil Etgart who advised on the project and is quite obviously from the sleeve notes responsible for a good deal of the knowledge contained within them.

Here’s a track list:

HARRY BELAFONTE WITH ROB GORMAN’S ORCHESTRA    ISLAND IN THE SUN
LORD TANAMO    SWEET DREAMING
GENE & EUNICE    VOW, THE
RAYS, THE    SILHOUETTES
BOBETTES, THE WITH THE REGGIE OBRECHT ORCHESTRA    MR LEE
LARRY WILLIAMS & HIS BAND    HIGH SCHOOL DANCE
SAM COOKE WITH THE BUMPS BLACKWELL ORCHESTRA    YOU SEND ME
LAUREL AITKEN    NIGHTFALL IN ZION (AKA ROLL RIVER JORDAN)
CLYDE McPHATTER WITH ORCHESTRA & CHORUS    ROCK & CRY
ERNIE FREEMAN    DUMPLIN’S
JIMMY McCRACKLIN & HIS BAND    WALK, THE
MILSON LUCE WITH THE JOHNNY WALLACE SEXTET    DON’T BREAK YOUR PROMISE
LOUIS PRIMA WITH SAM BUTERA & THE WITNESSES    BUONA SERA
PLATTERS, THE    TWILIGHT TIME
BILL DOGETT    HONKY TONK, PART 1
FATS DOMINO    SICK & TIRED
CHUCK WILLIS WITH THE JESSE STONE ORCHESTRA    C.C. RIDER
NAT ‘KING’ COLE & THE FOUR KNIGHTS WITH DAVE CAVANAUGH’S MUSIC    LOOKING BACK
HUEY (PIANO) SMITH & THE CLOWNS    HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
CYRIL X. DIAZ & HIS ORCHESTRA    TABU
LOUIS JORDAN & HIS TYMPANY FIVE    SHOW ME HOW (YOU MILK THE COW)
IMPERIALS, THE    TEARS ON MY PILLOW
PEREZ PRADO & HIS ORCHESTRA    GUAGLIONE
LITTLE WILLIE JOHN    FEVER
EARL GRANT WITH ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY CHARLES ‘BUD’ DANT    END, THE
LAUREL AITKEN    SWEET CHARIOT
COUNT OWEN & HIS CALYPSONIANS FEATURING EUTON GAYLE AND HIS BANJO    HOOL-A-HOOP CALYPSO
JIMMY CLANTON & HIS ROCKETS    JUST A DREAM
LLOYD PRICE WITH DON COSTA AND HIS ORCHESTRA    STAGGER LEE
COUNT OWEN & HIS CALYPSONIANS FEATURING EUTON GAYLE AND HIS BANJO    ISLAND IN THE SUN
PLATTERS, THE    SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES
FRANKIE FORD WITH HUEY (PIANO) SMITH & HIS ORCHESTRA    SEA CRUISE
EARL GRANT    EVENING RAIN
HUEY (PIANO) SMITH & THE CLOWNS    LITTLE CHICKEE WHA WHA
COASTERS, THE    CHARLIE BROWN
THREE PLAYMATES, THE    SUGAH WOOGA
WADE FLEMONS & THE NEWCOMERS    HERE I STAND
OSCAR McLOLLIE & ANNETTE BAKER WITH GOOGIE RENE & HIS ORCHESTRA    HEY GIRL – HEY BOY
LLOYD PRICE WITH DON COSTA & HIS ORCHESTRA    PERSONALITY
JACKIE WILSON    THAT’S WHY (I LOVE YOU SO)
BILLY HOPE & THE BAD MEN    RIDING WEST
LITTLE JIMMY SCOTT    I MAY NEVER (SEE MY BABY ANYMORE)
ERNIE FREEMAN & HIS COMBO    LIVE IT UP (AKA BEARDMAN SHUFFLE)
MIGHTY SPARROW, THE    DEAR SPARROW
LEE ANDREWS & THE HEARTS    IT’S ME (AKA WHAP WHAP)
WILBERT HARRISON    KANSAS CITY
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR    NO BUTS, NO MAYBES
ROSCO GORDON    NO MORE DOGGIN’
DRIFTERS, THE    THERE GOES MY BABY
JOHNNY & THE HURRICANES    RED RIVER ROCK
LAUREL AITKEN & THE BOOGIE CATS    BOOGIE ROCK
LOUIS JORDAN & HIS TYMPANY FIVE    G.I. JIVE
FATS DOMINO    BE MY GUEST
HAL PAIGE & THE WHALERS    GOING BACK TO MY HOMTOWN
HAWKS, THE    I-YI
LAUREL AITKEN    COME BACK JEANNIE
TERRY & JERRY    PEOPLE ARE DOING IT EVERYDAY
GONE ALL STARS, THE    7-11 (AKA MAMBO NO5)
FITZ-VAUGHAN BRYAN’S ORCHESTRA WITH VOCALS BY KENTRICK PATRICK    EVENING NEWS

http://www.sunspotrecords.co.uk/Sunspot_Records.html

In the wake of the R&B speedboat


Suddenly, what’s happened to me…

Recently I’ve beaten new musical paths and find myself away from the Reggae (for that read Jamaican) road that I was on, buying Mento which is on the outskirts of town and US R&B, which is a short flight away.

Normally what happens as I follow the ‘Reggae’ route, is that one ‘thing’ leads to another, one producer, one Studio, one label artwork, one whatever…. but I’ve ended up on a back road as far as Jamaican music goes and really need a new jumping off point…

One of my problems is that I have a very varied taste for Jamaican music and listen (and therefore collect some originals) from the early 50s through to the Mid 80s, with even a few tunes from right up to the last few years thrown in for seasoning. This has meant that I havn’t concentrated on any one label/producer/genre/ or era and somehow, this in turn, has conspired to mire my listening and collectdom in the potholes of said back routes to a musical nowhere’sville ….

So for a while I buy a few (expensive) Pama singles, then (expensive) Mento 78s (which I am still), some original (expensive) Rocksteady, I’m not picking up on anything that’s leading me elsewhere and I’m feeling a little bereft, losing my religion, it’s like I’m spurning the affections of my best friend, one I’ve had for a decade or more.

What should I do, is it a problem, do you have a suggested new turning to take me back to the interstate, the airport and thence to the tropical paradise once again? Or should I leave Jamaica somewhat in the wake of the R&B speedboat and indulge my desire to purchase only Atlantic 78s, mainly those with Joe Turner, Thurston Harris, Clyde McPhatter and Ray Charles on?