Sabebe – “Light of Saba, The” – [Kingston Connexion]

Thurston Hunger   11/11/2013   12-inch, Reggae

Originally out in 1978, reissued in 2008 by Jacques Golub. As much a
soul album made in Jamaica as a reggae album. The closing track,
“Africa” with its great driving hand-percussion, catches an
Afro-Beat stride, and other moments felt like the Art Ensemble
of Chicago trying to sneak onto Soul Train for a slow dance
number. “Caliweed” is a blend of herbs and Isley’s “Summer Breeze”
while the track before that seems like it came from the same
hydroponic high, “Music in My Brain.” That has some very 70’s
synth analog oogling. Some horn charts that have the football
highlight reel strength, the lead-off track has both congos
and a Congo-esque falsetto feel as the band summons their name
and strength. Voodoo too with the bonus of “Legba Praise” pure
heavy hitting percussion riffin’ (Check the fine liner notes
for tributes to the elders in an interview with Phillip Whyte
the man at the heart of Sabebe’s flame.) Mellow positive vibes.

-Thurston Hunger


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