Album review
Father And Sons
The Gladiators
March 26 - 2005

Tracking list

  1. Promise Me
  2. Canít Get Around Me
  3. Canít Get Around Me (Dub)
  4. Captivity
  5. Bull Buck (Water Out Of Your Fire)
  6. Bull Buck (Dub)
  7. Mercifull
  8. Holding On
  9. Attack
  10. Attack (Dub)
  11. Jumping
  12. Jumping (Dub)
  13. Farewell
  14. Good Old Days
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3

Here's a fresh new album from veteran roots group the Gladiators featuring group leader Albert Griffiths, his two sons, Anthony and Al, alongside Rudlowe Robinson and original member Gallimore Sutherland backed by musicians including Earl "Bagga" Walker, guitarists Dwight Pinkney & Clinton Rufus, hornsmen Tony Greene, Nambo Robinson, Chico Chin & Dean Dean Fraser, and percussionists Bongo Herman and Sky Juice. The Gladiators have been masters of the reggae arena since 1965. Albert Griffiths, known for his work at the legendary Studio One with artists like Ethiopians, Burning Spear, Mighty Diamonds and John Holt, lead the group to many hits including "Freedom Train" and "Rock A Man Soul", both cut for Lloyd Daley, and "The Race" for Randy's. However, across the first half of the 1970s, it was Studio One that released the bulk of the trio's recordings. Classic followed classic, as the trio unleashed a stream of roots masterpieces. "Roots Natty", "Bongo Red", "Jah Jah Go Before Us", and "Mr. Baldwin" were all huge hits in Jamaica. Like the Wailers, the Gladiators vocal abilities are matched by their musical talent, making them one of the rare Jamaican groups that actually are a band in the true sense of the word. Thus, while every vocal group has its own unique sound, the Gladiators created a distinct style, one that shone forth regardless of producer.
The Gladiators kicked off the new millennium with the "Something A Gwaan!" album, which was followed by the 2002 released "Once Upon A Time In Jamaica". And now there's the fresh new "Father And Sons" set, recorded at Anchor studios in Jamaica and represented as Griffiths' farewell to his fans, with his sons taking over and continuing the Gladiators name in the future. With "Father And Sons" the Gladiators deliver a dedicated roots album, warm, sincere and solid. From beginning to end the listener is treated to a gripping reflection on life, love and faith, expressed through beautiful songs such as "Captivity", "Mercifull", "Holding On", "Attack" and "Jumping". Also the not mentioned tracks have their own merit and are truly worth of hearing. If this set really turns out to be the last Gladiators' album that features the raspy voice of Albert Griffiths, then it's obvious that the "new" Gladiators will have to work real hard to reach the high quality standard of the "old" group.

Teacher & Mr. T.