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Music Reviews

Congos – “Give Them the Rights ” – [Young Tree Records]

Hunter Gatherer   4/23/2005   CD, Reggae

This is the first release of new material by The Congos in seven years. Over three years in the making, it features eleven songs written by leader and lead singer Cedric Myton. Most songs are co-written with wife Yvonne.

The Cognos are best known for their release Heart Of The Cognos, produced by Lee Perry (which we have in Reggae on vinyl). The thoroughly modern sound engineering is the only giveaway that this was recorded so recently. It sounds like a classic forgotten reggae classic with Mr. Myton’s distinctive falsetto singing.

There are many guest musicians on this release, most notably Sly and Robbie. The topics of the songs range from protest (2: Give Them The Rights) to praise to Jah Rastafari (9: Praise H.I.M.) to acid character studies of the obnoxious and showy rich (8: Mr. Shark).

–Hunter Gatherer

Jazz Jamaica “Double Barrel” [Hannibal]

jack soil   3/6/2005   CD, Format, Reggae

Stretchin it wayyyy out, it’s Jazz Jamaica, the London, England based band, producing
fine jazz/ska renditions of both classic jazz/easy listening and ska tunes. Includes
a brilliant foot-tapping rendition of Burt Bacharach’s “Walk on By”. This band pays
serious tribute to artists of the likes of Don Drummond, Winston Riley, Charlie Parker
and more. Classics such as the unforgettable Monkey Man are amazing. Toy with
the theme from Exodus, possibly pass on “The Grapevine”. All songs are instrumental
(except for minor exclamations during the first track) and lengthy enough to bead
up a bit o’ perspiration. Re-sole those dancing shoes, Jazz Jamaica now has a home
high atop black mountain.

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