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Album Review

Ellis, Alton – “Mr. Soul of Jamaica” – [Treasure Isle Records]

humana   1/30/2009   12-inch, Reggae

This is an uptempo album that is viewed as being definitive of rocksteady, a dance style that preceded reggae. Tommy McCook and the Supersonics back the pleasing voice of Ellis on these songs, whose tempos are slower and more relaxed than ska. Check out the cover of ???You Make Me Happy???. ???Willow Tree??? is sweetly melancholy, although the riddim can???t help but make you smile anyway. All tracks are enjoyable, but I???ve starred my favorites. Ellis??? influence on the trajectory of dancehall, reggae, and hip hop is significant, albeit little-known.

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