Album review
I Love Jah

Tracking list

  1. Take It Easy
  2. We Gonna Make It
  3. Rebounce
  4. For The Good Of Man
  5. You Care For Me
  6. I Love Jah
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4

Among the Jamaican harmony vocal trios who populated the seventies, the Meditations, consisting of Ansell Cridland, Danny Clarke and Winston Watson, stand out as one of the finest and most enduring. Their musical approach incorporated Garveyite lyrics, heavy rhythms and vocal influences from a new generation of U.S. soft soul groups often combined with minor chords in the melodies and "dreader" vocal tones. "I Love Jah" is the first ever release of an album the Meditations recorded at New York's legendary Bullwackies studio for producer Lloyd Barnes aka 'Wackie' in the heady months of 1982. The lineage of The Meditations elaborates Wackies' classical project perfectly: from their introduction by Stranger Cole (who would himself record for Wackies) to Dobby Dobson back in 1975, and their hits for him under the supervision of ace Studio One engineer Sylvan Morris through revered Lee Perry productions. This album evokes and deepens the atmosphere of those Black Ark sides - but cuts the group's militant rasta reputation with ecstatic soulful sensibilities. The tracking list features six originals - brand new, prime Bullwackies music - though the title cut recasts "I Shall Be Released" via interpretations for Studio One's Coxsone Dodd and Lee 'Scratch' Perry by The Heptones (another all-time-great Jamaican vocal trio with an unreleased Wackie's album recorded during this period). It's the luxuriant sublimity of the mature Wackies sound - dubwise from start to finish, with the drums of Jah Scotty and big-city-blues guitar of Barry Vincent outstanding - in combination with the group's beloved peerless harmonies that makes this album well worth checking out.

Teacher & Mr. T.