CD / LP / Digital Release
November 19, 2015
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
In contrast with Rock music, which regularly saw prominent musicians & vocalists form a so-called supergroup (think Derek & The Dominoes, Traveling Wilburys and Velvet Revolver), this phenomenon hasn't played a significant role in the history of Reggae. However, with the release of this album by Switzerland-based Fruits Records, Reggae music now also has its own supergroup called The Inspirators. The core of the latter consists of Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace (drums, vocals),
Lloyd Parks (bass, vocals), Earl "Chinna" Smith (guitars, vocals), Anthony "Sangie" Davis (vocals) and Swiss keyboard player (and producer of this album) Mathias Liengme. Additional musicians involved in this project are Vin Gordon (trombone), Dean Fraser (alto saxophone), Nambo Robinson (trombone), Dalton Browne (backing vocals), Eric "Rico" Gaultier (alto saxophone, flute) and Thomas Henning (trombone). It's obvious that with so many Reggae icons involved, The Inspirators fully deserve to be called 'supergroup'.
The original idea for this project comes from Najavibes' keyboard player Mathias Liengme, whose friendship with the legendary drummer Horsemouth - famous for his role in the film Rockers and his involvement in many classic recordings like for example Burning Spear's "Marcus Garvey" from 1976 - actually was of great help to make things happen. And although 'making exceptional instrumentalists sing' was the starting point, showing their vocal talent wasn't really new to the Jamaican quartet. Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace voiced a number of tracks including the Lee Perry produced "Herb Vendor", "Universal Love" (under the alias Mad Roy) and "Reggae Music". Lloyd Parks was part of a vocal duo called The Termites, briefly joined The Techniques and recorded songs such as "Officially", "Slaving" and "Mafia" as a solo artist. In 2014 he put out a vocal album entitled "Lloydie Fix It Back". Earl "Chinna" Smith voiced a few tracks under the pseudonym Earl Flute like for example "Satan Side", The Betrayer" and "Fade Away", while former Gatherers lead vocalist Anthony "Sangie" Davis recorded several solo songs and put out an album called "Words Of My Mouth" in 2005.
Recorded at the legendary Harry J studio by Stephen Stewart and mixed at Small World Studo by Gaylard Bravo, this self-titled album of The Inspirators treats the listener to quality reggae music from start to finish. Experienced musicians as they are, they have expertly created sophisticated sounding original riddims, which turn out to be the perfect backdrops for the vocal efforts of the individual members. Each core member has voiced two cuts, with the beautiful "This World" and the solid "Sit Down Pon Your Rump" being the respective opening tracks on both sides of the vinyl LP done by Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace. Both tunes have great horns and are full of consciousness. Especially "This World" is one of the highlights on this album. It's followed by another standout, "No Bother Chuck It Pon Me", performed by Lloyd Parks, who vocally is in good shape. This he also shows with the decent lovers piece, "Be On The Right Track". Earl "Chinna" Smith delivers the uplifting "Poor People" in fine style, but it's with "Give Back To Caesar (Caesar Thing)" that he impresses most. Last but not least there's Anthony "Sangie" Davis, who arguably is the best vocalist of the quartet. His two tunes, "Can't Take It" and "Be Not Envious", come with catchy and clever lyrics and are simply great to hear.
Overall opinion is that The Inspirators have delivered an album that is stamped with class all over.