The Taxi Sessions
Bitty McLean
Taxi/Silent River
CD / vinyl LP
September 5, 2013

Track list
  1. Let's Just Fall In Love
  2. Right Fight
  3. Brotherman
  4. Back Weh
  5. A Step Closer
  6. I'm The One Who Loves You
  7. Blessings By The Score
  8. No Love (Plead My Cause)
  9. It's Running Over
  10. In And Out Of Love / Taxi To Paris
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Essential -Votes: 13-
Very Good -Votes: 6-
Good -Votes: 1-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 20
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Almost a decade ago Bitty McLean, whose "It Keeps Raining" was a hit in the pop charts in 1994, had phenomenal worldwide success with his extraordinary comeback album "Peckings Presents... On Bond Street With The Supersonics". After the release of a follow up album for the Peckings brothers called "Made In Jamaica (Peckings Presents: Supersonics, Soul Vendor & Sound Dimensions)" (2007), the reggae massive saw Bitty McLean moving in a different direction as he had started to collaborate with the legendary riddim twins Sly & Robbie. In the spring of 2009 they released the album "Movin' On", a great collection of tunes which was received with much approval.

And now there's the second album from Bitty McLean with Sly & Robbie and the Taxi Gang, aptly titled "The Taxi Sessions". With only 10 tracks on the cd (8 tracks on the vinyl LP) it's a return to the 'good old days', when albums contained no more than 12 tracks. Nothing wrong with that, because it's the quality that matters, not the quantity! And that's exactly what "The Taxi Sessions" is all about... quality reggae music from beginning to end. And although "Movin' On" was a very good album, this new collection of tunes truly outmatches its predecessor. Of course, Bitty McLean's impressive vocals and the excellent craftmanshap of the musicians are still there, but it's the exceptional sound quality and excellent choice of riddims that takes this album to the next level. Most riddim spotters will instantly recognize well known riddims such as "Sitting & Watching", "Shine Eye Gal/Late Night Blues", and "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", but will have to dig deep to discover a gem such as the riddim that underpins the outstanding "Back Weh".

Not all the tracks are brand new and unissued. "No Love (Plead My Cause)" was already featured on the "Movin'On" album, but reappears here in a different version. It's a wicked roots tune and we have to admit that it outmatches the original one. Also the wicked "It's Running Over" -- a cover of Freddie McKay & Dansak's "Running Over" (Trojan, 1975), also released as "Your Cup Is Full" (Sunpower, 1975) -- has been previously released. Actually both tunes were featured on a 2012 released heavy weight 180 gram vinyl 12inch single. Would have been real nice if the 12inch version with Josey Wales would have been included here, but let's not be nitpicky. Furthermore the smooth lovers tunes "A Step Closer" and "In And Out Of Love" were released on a double A-side single in 2011. It are these kinda song Bitty McLean is best known for, however this album also shows that he's equally at home with roots tunes. This is fully experienced when listening to superb tunes like "Right Fight", "Brotherman", and the aforementioned tracks "Back Weh", "No Love (Plead My Cause)" and "It's Running Over".

Bitty McLean, Sly & Robbie and everyone involved in creating this album can be real proud, because "The Taxi Sessions" is simply great stuff, making this collection a real joy to listen to.