Back And Forth
Jump Up! Records
April 28, 2007
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 4||Sleeve : 4|
Münsteraner ska, reggae and dancehall don
Richard A. Jung a.k.a. Dr. Ring Ding began his professional
career in 1987 playing trombone with El Bosso & Die Ping Pongs, one
of Germany’s most famous ska bands. His experience in El Bosso led to his
life long love for Jamaican music. By early 1993 he had formed his very
own band, Dr. Ring Ding & The Senior Allstars, and
over the next ten years they would release five albums, numerous singles,
and two excellent albums backing legendary Jamaican vocalists Doreen
Schaffer and Lord Tanamo. American releases on Moon Ska and Jump Up! helped solidify his fan
base in the United States, and soon Dr. Ring Ding was enjoying a worldwide
audience for his snappy vocal style and tremendous musicianship. Dr. Ring
Ding is not only a popular live performer, he is a studio musician,
arranger, and producer in many different music genres such as swing,
rhythm & blues, hip hop, rumba and punk, but, above all, in reggae,
dancehall and ska.|
Dr. Ring Ding has now himself compiled an album for Jump Up Records that is more of a personal favourites and rarities collection than a best of, but that is in the end just also because of that probably even more entertaining, as he takes us "Back And Forth" in time, hence the album's title. Opening this album is the tune that defined Dr. Ring Ding in the international dancehall scene (outside the ska scene where his presence worldwide hadn't gone unnoticed already years before this tune) his lyrical twist on one of his own great idol Gregory Isaacs' "Night Nurse" lyrics rewritten into "Doctor's Darling" over Seeed's relick of the Gregory Isaacs riddim for Germaican Records that even appeared as 'Doctor's Darling' one riddim sampler. That tune is followed by the very entertaining "Badness", Dr. Ring Ding's take on Roots Rockers'Almost 54-46 a.k.a. Feel Like Jumping'-riddim, until now only available as a 45 and on the compilation "Münster Massive ~ One City - One Family" and the fast ska version of the classic Senior Allstars tune "Ram Di Dance" - originally recorded (and played live) over the 'Full Up' a.k.a 'Pass The Kutchie'-riddim - as it appeared on the Grover Records compilation "Up Your Ears" over a classic fast stomping ska riddim that still incorporates some of 'Full Up'.
The next tune is taken from the recently released "Today's Special" album by Kingston Kitchen (the band Dr. Ring Ding formed together with his Grover Records labelmates of the Rotterdam Ska Jazz Foundation) with Dr. Ring Ding fully digging into his Frank Sinatra admiration over a very nice fitting ska arrangement, before the "My Sound Remix" featuring US rapper G-Clef Da Mad Komposa over a wicked riddim that incorporates snatches of "Could You Be Loved", a funky hip hop bassline and ska horn riffs as it appeared on Dr. Ring Ding & The Senior Allstars "Diggin' Up Dirt" is followed by the only as 7" released great "Millionaire" over Markus Grapmeyer & Eike Schoenig a.k.a. Beatschmieda's very nice 'Matador'-riddim and the ska tunes "Fever" - a tune from Dr. Ring Ding & The Senior Allstars' last studio-album "Big Up" - and another glimpse of the just released Kingston Kitchen album "Today's Special" with the very nice "Seven Days (One Week)".
Together with The Slackers' Vic Ruggiero he delivers over a slow rootsy horn riff driven riddim "What It Takes", a beautiful tune backed by the Version City Rockers that is going to be on Dr. Ring Ding's forthcoming solo album "Fully Licensed" recorded at King Django's Version City, the tune being a lyrical standout amongst lots of verbal gems, as for example the Lord Kitchener penned 1963 Barbadian Telco release "Dr.Kitch", here retitled "The Needle" (and rereleased in Jamaica in 1971 on Lesley Kong's Beverley's label). Lord Kitchener had a monster hit with the tune in Trinidad thanks to its catchy melody and riddim, and the slack lyrics: I am not a qualified physician / and I don't want to give this injection / the girl is begging for trouble / she insists I give her this needle in the end of course nevertheless resulting in now Dr.Ring-Ding performing the 'medical' assistance: I push it in / She push it out / I push it back / She starts to shout / Dr.Ring-Ding, you're terrible / I can't stand the size of your needle , backed by one of his favorite backing bands, the Swiss Scrucialists till now only available as a Grover Records 45. This is followed by the great previously unreleased funky early reggae "The Sticks", penned by jazz supremo 'Cannonball' Adderly and backed by The Senior Allstars with Dr. Ring Ding completely mastering Dave Barker's funky DJ style over the great rocksteady Lynn Tait like guitarsolo and horn riffs and solos.
"The Best" is a great oldschool style deejayed boast that any rudeboy who come can't test over a nice skanking roots riddim by The Senior Allstars and was only released before as tune included on the "Fever (EP)". And then it's lewd slackness once more, as Dr. Ring Ding rides the 'Yardstyle'-riddim laid by Cologne based Kingstone-soundsystem selector Lazy Youth for his Basslabor Productions, this ultra slack "Dash Weh Yuh Frock" being a superb 7" also because of its brilliant wordplay (especially for a non-native English speaker) when it was released more than 3 years ago, probably my favourite tune of this compilation. "Feast" is another very funny tune alongside King Django over a fine swinging midtempo dancehall riddim laid by the Scrucialists taken from King Django's album "Meets The Scrucialists", followed by two very catchy Dr. Ring Ding & The Senior Allstars ska stompers, "Big Man" taken from "Dandimite" and "Bad Company" taken from "Ram Di Dance". The great B-side of the Grover 7" "The Needle" fortunately is included as well, a take on the Mighty Sparrow's 1966 'Calypso Monarch' winning "Obeah Wedding", a tune revived in a dancehall style 20 years later for Jammy's by Lieutenant Stitchie. Here Richie Senior a.k.a. Dr.Ring Ding stays much closer to the original arrangements, once again aided by the Scrucialists (and guest musicians Götz Alsmann on piano, Markus Passlick on conga & percussion, Ritski Bracht on saxophone and Benny Brown on trumpet). Another funny story, about a woman not even able to lure him into a wedding using Obeah (the Caribbean (black) magic spell), as she would benefit more from scrubbing her teeth and using some soap and water than trying to practice Obeah to find a man. Listen closely to the downtempo piano backed part near the end, and you'll realize that Dr.Ring Ding must be a big big fan of Frank Sinatra.
Not even released as far as I know as a 7" thus until now only available on the "Münster Massive ~ One City - One Family" compilation is the very nice Sharp Axe Band backed "Old School Baby" with Dr. Ring Ding combining falsetto singing with fine toasting, before the last three tunes (taking us back thus) all feature the huge musical talents of The Senior Allstars backing the Doctor on the title tune of their last album recorded together "Big Up", the 7" only old school 70s Jamaican DJ-style toast of "Love In Your Heart" and the McHugh & Fields penned swing classic but in Caribbean music by Lord Tanamo made famous "In The Mood For Love" that was released as a 7" single in 199x completely with fine melodica solo, a tune Dr. Ring & The Senior Allstars recorded as well with Lord Tanamo himself on vocals for his Grover Records "Best Place In The World" album on which they backed him. This is a very nice compilation looking back on Richie Senior a.k.a. Dr. Ring Ding's first 20 years in the business and going forth on a couple tracks with Kingston Kitchen 809 and Vic Ruggiero, that makes me all the more curious about both the "Fully Licensed" album and the rumoured upcoming dancehall album (that is by now approximately 3 years overdue ...). Both Dr. Ring Ding fans and lovers of ska, dancehall and reggae in general would be wise to listen to (and buy) this album.