Hold Me Tight: Anthology '65-'73
Lyn Taitt & The Jets
August 26, 2005
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 3||Backing : 3||Production : 3||Sound quality : 3||Sleeve : 5|
"Lynn Tait? He's the man who changed Jamaican music right round from Ska to rock steady." (Derrick Morgan speaks with Harry Hawke)
"It was a pleasure to get up and get an idea and put your idea onto a record -- and to have the public like what you do is a great gift. At the time we were not thinking of it from a business aspect. We were just interested in creating beautiful music." (Lynn Tait speaks with Harry Hawke)
This is an improvement on the two recent rock steady albums from Pressure Sounds, both of which --arguably of course -- lacked a certain distinctiveness of character.
This album is going to prove worthy to rock steady completists, collecting as it does rare tunes from the 'Doctor Bird' and 'Big Shot' labels.
It will also prove of interest to 70's reggae listeners in that it collects early works from an array of talents, all of whom would go on to be major roots stars, promoters, engineers and producers in their own right later on in the 70's.
It showcases Duke Reid, Clancy Eccles, Stranger Cole and Derek Harriot productions -- but it also showcases very early Sonia Pottinger, Leslie Kong, Glen Brown, Eric Donaldson, Joe Gibbs, Viceroys and Joe Higgs tunes. Prepare then, to hear very early styles from these artists which may surprise you.
So in a sense, what we have here is a "roots of what was latterly to be called roots" selection, -- and it proves interesting in that capacity.
It is not all worthy from start to finish -- some of the tunes are eminently unmemorable, verging on schmaltzy, lounge bar styles. There is however a selection of nearly 60 songs on this 2bl CD set -- with a fair number of powerful, fairly essential compositions amongst them.
The opening track is a brooding stormer, in a classic Don Drummond style -- "Storm Warning". It's an ideal metaphorical title, with it's thunderous thug bass tones and dark introspective horns solos.
Also of interest is the hard, booming bass roots soul funk of "Soul Food" featuring an eccentric chant from Lee Perry himself. It sounds like an old Blue Note groove from the mid 70's, fusing jazz with soul and funk.
On CD 2, Hopeton Lewis offers up the hooligan tones of "Cool Collie", a tune featuring the same brash and confident swagger of Delroy Wilson's / Alimantado's later composition "Can't Conquer Natty Dreadlocks."
Joe Higgs contributes his distinctive mournful vocal style with the rare "You Hurt My Soul" whilst Eric Donaldson contributes the falsetto tones of the equally scarce "Right On Time."
On a final note, it must be said the sleeve design is a work of charm, (in a Jeb Loy Nichols style) with iconography which will prove immediately recognisable to older listeners who spent long afternoons rooting around 50's and 60's retro stores in Ladbroke Grove, London, in the late 70's, hunting for tunes like this.