Dub Salute 8 ~ How Long Dub
Jah Shaka Music
February 9, 2009
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : -||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 4/5||Sleeve : 3|
In the in the mid-70s Tony Tuff (born Winston Morris) started his career singing in the vocal group the African Brothers alongside Sugar Minott and Derrick "Bubbles" Howard. The group enjoyed a number of hits, notably "Party Night", and also recorded a number of bonafide classic roots anthems such as "Righteous Kingdom" and "Lead Us Heavenly Father". In 1978 the African Brothers broke up and Tony Tuff became the lead singer for the Soul Syndicate band as well as embarking on his own solo venture. His first release "I'm So Glad", a self-production, was a reasonable success and gave him the confidence to continue. Eventually one of his first solo albums was produced by Sugar Minott in 1980 and was titled "Presenting Tony Tuff".
He also recorded a number of killer roots sides such as "Rumours Of War" and "One Big Family", the latter for Yabby You aka Vivian Jackson, and both of these were large hits on the UK reggae scene. In the early 80s Tony Tuff became part of the famous Volcano sound system owned by Henry "Junjo" Lawes, who was at that time the leading dancehall producer in Jamaica. He performed alongside Barrington Levy, Little John, Toyan, Josey Wales, Lee Van Cleef, Yellowman and others, and became a household reggae name. Tony Tuff adapted well to the new dancehall style and scored with two massive hits "Come Fe Mash It" and "Water Pumpee", both produced by Junjo. These were followed by many other reggae hits such as "Mix Me Down", "You'll Never Find", and "Sweet Reggae Music".
When the music changed dramatically in the mid 80s in Jamaica, he recorded less often than before but maintained his status as a dancehall veteran by recording the occasional side and touring the reggae world. He had a big hit for Donovan Germain of Penthouse fame with "I've Got To Get You" in 1991, and also cut two classic singles for the relaunched Studio One label in the mid 90s - "Cool It" over the Satta riddim and the sublime "Love Light Shining" that has become one of the greatest Studio One sides ever.
For his 2006 released "How Long" album, which was recorded, voiced and mixed by Bravo at Leggo Studio in Kingston JA, he collaborated with the well-known producer and sound system operator Jah Shaka aka Zulu Warrior. Musicians involved were Errol "Flabba" Holt of the Roots Radics on bass and programmed drums, Tony Asher on keyboards and bongo man Zoot "Skully" Simms on percussion. The Rasta-centric set included an adaptation of Luciano's "Messenger", "Jah Is Everything", "Run Come", the self-penned title track "How Long", "Prophecy", "African Woman", "Let Jah Arise", "Keep Weh" and "Give Thanks & Praise". On this album former African Brother Tony Tuff was in fine voice throughout.
And now, after roots fans have been waiting for a dub set for almost three years, the dubwise companion appears on Jah Shaka's own record label. The riddims are nicely dubbed up with Tony Tuff's distinctive, pleading vocals floating in and out the mix. If you expect this set to have mindblowing dub versions loaded with weird effects, you'll be disappointed because the mixing engineer in charge, Bravo, has utilized a subtle style of mixing down the tracks. By mostly emphasizing on bass and percussion the listener is treated to the bare essence of the riddims.
This dub album might not be as adventurous as Roger Robin's "I See Jah Dub" and Johnny Clarke's "Praise Jah Dub", which both got the Gussie P treatment, but it's a matching set to Tony Tuff's magnificent vocal set "How Long" anyhow.