Guru – “The Experimental Fusion of Hip-Hop and Jazz”

Loungin'

Unfortunately, one of the greatest American rap and hip-hop MCs died this month. Guru was an extraordinary rapper. He was both gritty and smooth. He rose to fame rhyming for the famed rap group Gang Starr. The old school rap duo featured Guru on the mic and DJ Premieron the turntables.  I was a big fan of Gang Starr. And I followed Guru into his solo work, especially the first Jazzmatazz album. If you haven’t heard of Gang Starr check out their songs “Blowin’ Up The Spot” and “Full Clip.”

Guru was one of those rappers that kept in touch with the roots of his craft. I often saw him on the local cable network in Austin, visiting recreational centers in East Austin. He got kids involved in the hip hip culture on the ground level. He was definitely a grassroots artists. A man who explored the musical world from the bottom up and not from the top down. This viewpoint gave his music real soulpower.

Keith Elam aka Guru will probably be most remembered for his multi-volume Jazzmatazz collaborations with famed jazz and pop music artists. The first Jazzmatazz album was an instant classic. Jazz artists like Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd, Branford Marsalis, and Lonnie Liston Smith joined Guru for a fusion of jazz and hip hop. Guru explored this blend creating genius tracks like “Loungin’.'” Another one of my favorite songs on this album is the cut “No Time To Play” with Ronny Jordanand Dee C. Lee. The track “Le Bien, Le Mal” mixes rap and jazz music as well as French and English lyrics. The French rapper Mc Solaar shared the mic with Guru on this cutting-edge experimental Franco-American rap-jazz tune.

Guru fused rap with a diversity of sounds and artists through his Jazzmatazz collection, performing with such notable musicians as Ini Kamoze, Erykah Badu, Macy Gray, the Roots, Junior Reid, Les Nubians, and Herbie Hancock. From rap to  jazz to R&B to reggae this rapper crossed musical boundaries and set new trends.

Guru made substantial inroads into the reggae genre as well, especially on a collaboration with Stephen Marley. Marley and Guru reworked the Bob Marley classic “Johnny Was” into a beautiful mix of rap and reggae music on the album Chant Down Babylon. And check out the killer hit on the album Jazzmatazz, Vol. 4: The Hip Hop Jazz Messenger – Back To The Future entitled “Stand Up (Some Things’ll Never Change)” with the talented dancehall wordsmith Damian Marley.


Guru – “The Experimental Fusion of Hip-Hop and Jazz”

The World of Reggae Music–Vintage Reggae: Classic Reggae

World of Reggae Music Collection: Vintage Reggae

Classic Reggae

This second volume of the World of Reggae Music Collection digs deeper into Vintage Reggae exploring some of reggae’s most classic tracks. For example, the Tamlin’sBaltimore is a classic cut that typifies the soul of reggae music. From the unique vocal stylings of Barrington Levy and Susan Cadoganto supergroups like The Heptones, Israel Vibration, and the Gladiators, this era of reggae music forces hearts to pulsate and feet to dance. Furthermore, this genre includes melodic tracks like Bob Marley & the Wailers “Do It Twice” and Ernie Smith’s “Duppy Gunman.”

Barrington Levy Don’t Fuss Nor Fight

Delroy Wilson – My Baby Is Gone

Desmond Dekker – Archie Wah Wah

Gregory Isaacs – Give Me Land

Dennis Brown – Promised Land

Susan Cadogan – Hurt So Good
The Tamlins – Baltimore

John Holt – OK Fred

Roman Stewart Hit Song

Johnny Clarke – Move Out A Bablyon

Desmond Dekker – Licking Stick

Gregory Isaacs – Lonely Man 

The Heptones – Country Boy

Leroy Smart – I Am the Don
Toots & the MaytalsPeeping Tom

Reggie Antonie – So Many Ways

Lee “Scratch” Perry – So Many Skanks

Clancy Eccles – Fatty Fatty

Jimmy Sommerville – To Love Somebody
The PioneersTime Hard

Dennis Brown Sitting And Watching

Bob Andy – Feeling

Peter Tosh Ketchy Shuby

Peter Tosh – Ketchy Shuby [Instrumental]

Horace Andy – I Feel Good All Over

Bob Marley & the WailersBus Dem Shut

Ernie SmithDuppy Gunman

Junior MurvinCool Out son

Delroy Wilson – Rain From the Skies

Eric Donaldson Stand Up

Lee “Scratch” PerryDub Fu Ye Rights

Horace AndyMan To Man

Bob Marley & the WailersDo It Twice

Bunny Wailer – Rockers

Desmond Dekker – Generosity

John Holt – Anywhere

Bob Marley & the Wailers Guava Jelly

MessageRum-Bum-A-Loo

The Viceroys – River To Cross

Israel Vibration The Same Song

Junior BylesFade Away

Theo Beckford Easy Snappin’

Max Romeo Wet Dream

Freddie McGregor – Joggin’

The ViceroysYa Ho

The Congos – Fisherman

Jacob Miller – Baby I Love You So

Dave Barker & the Upsetters – Shock Of Mighty

Black Uhuru – Sponji Reggae

Johnny Clarke – None Shall Escape His Judgement

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Waiting In Vain

Desmond Dekker – Where Did It Go

The Maytones – Money Worries

Derrick Morgan –  Forward March

Cornell Campbell & Sound Dimension – What Kind of World

Gregory Isaacs – Top Ten

Little John – Joker Lover

The Abyssinians – Poor Jason Whyte

The Wailing Souls – Row Fisherman Row

Jackie Edwards – Take Me As I Am

Johnny Clarke – Top Ranking (I’m the Toughest)

Glen Washington – One Of These Days

Black Uhuru – Great Train Robbery

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Lively Up Yourself

Dennis Brown – Cassandra

Bruce Ruffin – One Big Happy Family

Desmond Dekker – Live and Learn

Cocoa Tea – Come Again

Lloyd Robinson – Cuss Cuss

Errol Dunkley – Sad To Know

John Holt – Reggae From the Ghetto

Israel Vibration – Miscalculation

Ken Boothe & B.B. Seaton – Whole World’s Down on Me

Arthur Robinson – Moments

The Pioneers – You Don’t Know Like I Know

Delroy Wilson – Why Did You Leave Me

The Jivers – Our Love Will Last

Clarendonians – Lick It Back

Ken Boothe – Keep My Love From Fading

The Kingstonians – I’ll Need You Tomorrow

NEED

The Gladiators – Hello Carol
Rupie EdwardsIre Feelings
Jacob Miller – Love Is A Message
Denzel D. Dennis Women and Money
The Upsetters – Cent Skank
The Heptones – I’ve Got the Handle (First Aid)
The Cables – Baby Why
Freddie McGregor – I Was Born A Winner
The Wailing SoulsBack Out
The Congos At The Feast
Carl Malcom – Fatty Bum Bum
Desmond Dekker – Shing A Ling
Barry Brown – Stand Firm
Trevor Byfield – Burning Bush
The Gladiators – On the Other Side
Carl Malcom – No Jestering
Cornell Campbell – Stars
Dub Specialist – Starring Dub
Lloyd Parks – Ordinary Man
The Impact All Stars – Ordinary Man Version 3
Lord Creator – Such is Life
Keith Poppin – Righteous Man
The Heptones – My Guiding Star
Leroy Smart – Wish You Good Luck
Black Uhuru – Sun Is Shining
The Mighty Diamonds – Back Whey
Little John – All Over Me
Ruddy Thomas – When I Think Of You
Don Carlos – Hog and Goat
Tyrone Taylor – Heavy Waist Line
Prince Alla – Poor Man Feel It
Cornell Campbell – Press Along
King Tubby – Press Along (King Tubby’s Dub)
Dandy LivingstoneSuzanne Beware Of The Devil
Zap Pow This Is Reggae Music
Pluto ShervingtonRam Goat Liver
Tingo StewartPlay De Music
Denzel DennisMe Nah Worry
Errol “Flabba” Holt – Danger Zone
The Abysinnians – Sweet Feeling
Big Boss – Kung Foo Rock
Dennis Brown – Cup of Tea
Glen Brown – Crisp As A Ball
Wayne Wade – Man of the Living
Eek-A-Mouse – Noah’s Ark
Gregory Isaacs – Poor and Clean
Prince Tallis and the Israelites – Pressure Is Down On I
Dennis Brown & Johnny Clarke – So Much Pain
Culture – Stop the Fussing and Fighting
John Holt Looking Back
B.B. Seaton – Power
Delroy Wilson – Peace and Love
Junior Delgado – Easy Girl
The Officials – Babylonians
The Viceroys – Try Hard to Leave
Lloyd Charmers – Darker Than Blue
John Holt – It May Sound Silly
Joe Higgs – Burning Fire
Cornell Campbell – My Confession
Ken Parker – True, True, True
Barry Brown – Release the Chains
Roland Burell – Rip Off
The Gladiators – Small Axe
Marcia Griffiths – Melody Life
Barry Brown – Far East

The World of Reggae Music–Vintage Reggae: Classic Reggae

The World of Reggae Music Collection: Reggae’s Superstars – The Lions of Jah (125 Songs from Reggae’s Finest)

The Jam-Tex selector will post a study and organization of the essential tracks of reggae music. The selector invites others to join in on the organization of these tracks.  Thus Jam-Tex presents The World of Reggae Music Collection.” This collection of singles begins with the greatest roots reggae hits in a category  entitled “Reggae’s Superstars – The Lions of Jah.”

The Reggae Superstars category includes the section: “The Lions of Jah.” The Lions of Jah section includes the pillars of reggae music, such as Bob Marley & the Wailers, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, Jimmy Cliff, Toots & the Maytals, Jacob Miller, Peter Tosh, Max Romeo, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Bunny Wailer, Desmond Dekker, Freddie McGregor, Horace Andy, Barrington Levy, Beres Hammond, and features supergroups like  Third WorldBlack UhuruSteel Pulse, and Culture. The grouping of songs includes classic vocal groups like the Mighty Diamonds, Wailing Souls, and the Itals, and early deejay and singjay sensations like Big Youth, Tenor Saw, and Trinity.  Yet overall this category relies on the heavy hitters of reggae music like  John Holt, Gregory Isaacs, Lucky Dube, Johnny Osbourne, and Cornell Campbell.

Please feel free to comment. The selector is open to suggestions and changes. Feel free to comment on the selections, categories, genre headings, and section headings. The selector will consider track additions and removals and even the renaming of categories, sections, and genres. Without further ado…

The Jam-Tex Selector presents…The World of Reggae Music Collection

Reggae’s Superstars: The Lions of Jah

Ini Kamoze – World-A-Music

Bob Marley & the WailersGet Up, Stand Up

Desmond Dekker – 007 (Shanty Town)

Toots & the Maytals54-46 That’s My Number

Peter ToshSteppin’ Razor

Jimmy CliffThe Harder They Come

Burning Spear – Marcus Garvey

Burning Spear – The Ghost

Delroy Wilson – Better Must Come

Third World Reggae Ambassador

Black Uhuru & the RevolutionariesGuess Who’s Coming to Dinner

CultureTwo Sevens Clash

Barrington Levy Too Experienced

Lee “Scratch” Perry Chase The Devil

Lee “Scratch” Perry – Disco Devil

Steel PulseHandsworth Revolution

Steel Pulse – Revolution Dub

Gregory Isaacs & Roots RadicsNight Nurse

Gregory Isaacs – Night Nurse Dub

Dennis Brown – Wolves and Leopards

The Wailing Souls Shark Attack

The Mighty DiamondsRight Time

Johnny Ousborne – Truths and Rights

Chalice – Good to Be There

Jacob Miller & Inner CircleWestbound Train

Horace AndySkylarking

Freddie McGregor Big Ship

Max Romeo & the UpsettersWar Ina Babylon

Israel Vibration – Get Up and Go

John Holt – Strange Things

Lucky Dube – We Love It

Toots & the MaytalsFunky Kingston

Jacob Miller & Inner Circle We A Rockers

Bob Marley & the WailersRebel Music (Three O’Clock Roadblock)

Burning Spear Columbus

Jimmy CliffYou Can Get It If You Really Want

Barrington Levy Saw Red

Peter ToshWhatcha Gonna Do

Steel Pulse Uncle George

Dennis Brown – Here I Come

The Heptones Book of Rules

Cornell Campbell The Gorgon

Mighty DiamondsIdentity

Beres Hammond & Zap PowLast War

Toots & the Maytals Time Tough

CultureIron Sharpening Iron

Dennis Brown Stop the Fussing & Fighting

Steel Pulse Ravers

Half Pint Level The Vibes

Beres Hammond They Gonna Talk

John Holt & the Aggravators You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine/Version

Jacob Miller & U-BrownKeep On Knocking

Bunny Wailer Blackheart Man

The HeptonesParty Time

Bob Andy – I’ve Got To Go Back Home

Burning Spear The Invasion

Burning Spear – Black Wa Da Da

The ItalsIn A Dis Ya Time/ Harbour View Rock

Bob Marley & the WailersIs This Love

Johnny Osbourne & the SensationsCome Back Darling

The Pioneers Long Shot (Kick the Bucket)

Toots & the Maytals Pressure Drop

Black Uhuru Party Next Door

Gregory IsaacsSad To Know (You’re Leaving)

Peter ToshWanted Dread And Alive

Beres Hammond – I Feel Good

Cornell Campbell Queen Of The Minstrel

Big Youth – Livin’

Burning SpearRise Up

Tenor SawLots of Sign

Tenor Saw – Lots of Dub

Black UhuruBlack Uhuru Anthem

Jacob Miller Mixed Up Moods

Steel PulseBlues Dance Raid

Barrington Levy, Kojak & LizaMy Woman/ Ten Thousand Woman

Bob Marley & the WailersRat Race

Jimmy Cliff Struggling Man

The HeptonesFattie Fattie

Horace Andy Nice And Easy

Horace Andy – Nice and Easy Dub

Mighty Diamonds Have Mercy

TrinityAll Gone

Gregory Isaacs – Cream of the Crop

Black Uhuru Rent Man

Sammy Dread My Princess

Beres Hammond – Rockaway

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Soul Rebel

U-Roy – Natty Rebel

Culture & Shorty the President See Them A Come/ Natty Pass Him G.C.E.

Cornell CampbellBoxing Around

Glen WashingtonRockers (Nuh Crackers)

Dennis BrownWhat About The Half

Jimmy Riley Love And Devotion

Ronnie Davis – Writing on the Wall

Burning SpearJordan River

Third WorldRoots With Quality

The ItalsBrutal Out Deh

Peter Tosh Why Must I Cry

CultureLion Rock

Barrington LevyMy Time (Rights of Man)

Steel Pulse Back To My Roots / Dub To My Roots

Gregory IsaacsStranger In Town

Dennis BrownGhetto Girl

The Wailing SoulsWar Deh Round A John Shop

Jacob MillerChapter A Day

Beres HammondWhat One Dance Can Do

Max Romeo One Step Forward

Lucky Dube Prisoner

Israel Vibration Back Staba

Lee “Scratch” Perry & the Heptones – Why Must I (Version)

Ed Robinson – Rude Awakening

Aswad – Love Fire

Aswad – Dub Fire

Jimmy Cliff – One More

Gregory Isaacs – Innocent People Cry

Delroy Wilson – It’s A Shame

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Pimper’s Paradise

The Wailing Souls – Bredda Gravalicious

Peter Tosh – Pick Myself Up

The Viceroys – Brethren and Sistren

Freddie McGregor – A House Is Not A Home

Lucky Dube – Julie! Julie!

Beres Hammond – Pull Up

The Wailing Souls – Stop Red Eye

Israel Vibration – Reggae on the River

Jimmy Cliff – Treat The Youths Right

 

The World of Reggae Music Collection: Reggae’s Superstars – The Lions of Jah (125 Songs from Reggae’s Finest)

Reggae on the River 2009 – Reggae on the River in Humboldt County

I got to attend this year’s Reggae on the River Festival in Southern Humboldt County, California. The festival had a great local community feel and funds raised went to support the Mateel Community Center in Redway, California. The Eel River flowed through the picturesque venue located at Benbow State Recreational Area. Reggae on the River celebrated its 25th Anniversary in fine style. Positive vibrations flowed all day long. Soul Majestic played early in the day bringing their brand of soul-drenched reggae to the stage. The track “First Light” set the vibe and songs like “Rough N’ Tuff ” displayed the musical prowess of this young group. Soul Majestic also played the single “Better World,” which dovetails nicely with their positive vibe and eco-friendly message.

Queen Omega ignited the stage with soul, dancehall, and roots reggae. A native of Trinidad and Tobago Queen Omega sang “Love Ya Color,” “Judgement,” “Warning,” and “Ganja Baby” to an appreciative crowd.  The Roots Revealers bought Jamaican dancehall to northern California playing the songs “Long Road” and “No More Killing.”

The crowd-pleasing crown princess of roots reggae Etana turned it up a notch dropping the killer hits “Roots” and “Blessing.” The lovely songstress covered some Bob Marley and the Wailers tunes creating a wonderful vibe with the classic “One Drop.” Etana played some tracks from her newest hit album The Strong One performing “Jah Chariot” and “Don’t Forget,” and “Caltariba System.” And I was pleasantly surprised by Etana‘s cover of the Beatles “Don’t Let Me Down.” Etana finished her set singing “I Am Not Afraid,” which is from one of my favorite riddims: the “Rub-A-Dub” riddim.

The legendary vocal group from Jamaica The Abyssinians took the stage under the afternoon sun. Roots reggae filled the air with classic tunes like “Y Mas Gan,” “African Race,” “Let My Days Be Long,”  “Meditation,” and “Know Jah Today.” The Abyssinians took us to the Bible and the book of Daniel with “Abendigo,” turning the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendigo into a wonderful reggae and dub experience. And of course the reggae legends performed their megahits from the Satta Massagana album, including “Peculiar Number,” “Black Man’s Strain,” “Declaration Of Rights,” “Forward Unto Zion,” and “Satta Massagana.”

The Abyssinians at Reggae on the River 2009
The Abyssinians at Reggae on the River 2009
The Abyssinians Dancing at Reggae on the River 2009
The Abyssinians Dancing at Reggae on the River 2009

Tanya Stephens livened things up with a raunchy-rough riding performance that included plenty of references to “long ding dongs” with high-energy versions of “Boom Wuk” and “Good Ride.” The dancehall favorite “Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet” set a playful vibe and then she played the killer singles “Can’t Breathe,” “It’s A Pity,” and “These Streets.” Stephens showed her soulful side too with songs like “What Ah Day” and “Little White Lie.” But it seemed Stephens dominated with the playful tunes like “Tek Him Back” and “To The Rescue.”

Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009
Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009
Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009, California
Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009, California

Then the Yellow Wall Dub Squad took the stage to warm it up for The Mighty Diamonds. The bassist sang the song “Overlaod” and then King David sang a reggae version of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.” The Mighty Diamonds entered the stage and played “Poor Marcus Garvey” and “Rise Up” from the album titled Rise Up. The roots reggae gems “Have Mercy,” “Right Time,” “Africa,” and “I Need A Roof” all made the set list. The “I Need A Roof” jam extended and transitioned into a cover of the Bob Marley‘s anthem “Get Up, Stand Up.” An extended version of “Pass The Kutchie” and a sweet version of the Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions tune “It’s All Rightt” capped off the set. Etana, The Abyssinians, Soul Majestic, Queen Omega, and The Mighty Diamonds then returned to the stage and all performed together for a finale. The all-star group of reggae performers sang the Bob Marley and the Wailers classic hit “One Love / People Get Ready.”

The Eel River at Reggae on the River 2009
The Eel River at Reggae on the River 2009
Dancin' Crowd at Reggae on the River 2009
Dancin' Crowd at Reggae on the River 2009

Reggae on the River 2009 – Reggae on the River in Humboldt County