Album review
Ecstasy of Mankind
Carl Harvey
April 3, 2005

Tracking list

  1. Peace Truce
  2. Mercury Stars
  3. Ecstasy of Mankind
  4. Misty Night
  5. World of Confusion
  6. Late Niht Raver
  7. Breezing
  8. Guitar Inferno
  9. Bishop Murozewa
  10. Break Outs
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : - Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 5

The French label Makasound describes its activities as follows : "Maka" is a Jamaican Creole for thorny and prickly. Makasound is a label which intends to issue and reissue roots reggae albums that are thorny, prickly, sharp, in short, real crackers ! Whether or not they have already been produced, Makasound will release them for you ... In the main, original albums once lost in the labyrinthine den of Jamaican music.
The Carl Harvey album is a good example of the result of their mission. Carl Harvey is the guitarist in the band of Toots & The Maytals. In 1977 he was spending some time in Jamaica to work on recordings with Jackie Mittoo and vocalist Willie Williams. He also did a few recording sessions for Bunny 'Striker 'Lee and there he made a good impression on Bunny with his skills as a guitarist. Just one night before returning to Canada - in January 1978 - Bunny offered Carl the opportunity to place his guitars on some of Bunny's hit riddims. The recordings took no more than a couple of hours. Recording engineers at the King Tubby's studio were Prince Jammy and Scientist. Fact is that he did not get paid for the sessions and that he and Bunny would have partnership in the ownership of it. Carl returned to Canada and Bunny released the album a year later in the UK on the Cancer imprint. In 2000 Carl saw the album for the first time and he also discovered that Rhino had put out an album - Guitar Boogie Dub - in 1994, credited to Lee Perry, which was actually his album!
Some of the riddims here are well known classics such as 'Moving Away' on Breaks Out, the Ray Charles classic 'Rainy Night in Georgia' is versioned on Misty Night and 'Queen Majesty' is heard on Late Night Raver. Some lesser known riddims here are 'The Sniper' for the track Mercury Stars and 'Jah Jah We Pray' on the title track. Carl's guitar overdubs range from hard rock alike licks to smooth and jazzy licks, inspired by the great George Benson. Musicians involved were: lead guitar : Carl Harvey, bass : Robbie Shakespeare, Lloyd Parks and Rad Bryan, drums : Sly Dunbar and Carlton "Santa" Davis, rhythm guitars : Earl "Chinna" Smith, Rad Bryan and Ranchie McLean and on keyboards the late great Jackie Mittoo.
Interesting instrumental stuff!

Teacher & Mr. T.