Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Redemption
Jah Bless
Zion High Productions
CD / Digital Release
December 1, 2014

Track list
  1. Highway To Zion
  2. Militant Swing
  3. Lightning & Thunder
  4. Heartbeat Version
  5. Dance With My Father
  6. Jah Children Must Play
  7. Armageddon
  8. Be Strong
  9. Lessons Of Life
  10. Journey For Love
  11. Tradition
  12. Beautiful Mama
  13. Power Of The Trinity
  14. Redemption
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Essential -Votes: 31-
Very Good -Votes: 1-
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Total votes : 33
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Lead Instrument : 4 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Zion I Kings (Zion High Productions/I Grade/Lustre Kings) are dutifully responsible for the continuation and natural progression of true Reggae Music for over a decade now. This Roots collective have wisely decided to offer up something different from their approved formula - an instrumental album. JAH BLESS' "Redemption" is a resounding platform for the heavy duty saxophonist to deliver some truly Royal goods...

JAH BLESS (Donald Toney) has been part of this visionary family for years; contributing on numerous classics. Of Guyana/Trinidad ancestry, Donald picked up the sax as a youth and has stepped triumphantly in both music and education all the while. He earned a Grammy for his work on Burning Spear's 2009 "Jah Is Real" set and his musical journeys have taken him all over Creation thrilling the massive with his huge talent. "Redemption" is the perfect arena to showcase his skills...

The acclaimed formula of ZIK remains firmly intact. Drummies include Dean Pond, Rex Smith, Craig Taylor and legends "Santa" Davis and Wadi Gad. (The Roots fraternity has taken notice; the late Style Scott and rootsman Norman Grant contributed heavily on recent productions). Core bassie JAH David is in place. Great guitars from Andrew "Moon" Bain, Tuff Lion (yes I), Chet Samuel, JAH Oil, Ronnie Moses and the mastery of Earl "Chinna" Smith and Abijah! Great bubbling from Noel Aiken, Dean Fishback, Laurent "Tippy I" Alfred, Peter Pan and Kennedy Simmonds. JAH BLESS is assisted by Derrick Harris (trombone) and Jarritt Shield (trumpet) - all part of previous projects. Great engineering as always from JAH David, Tippy I, Thomas Dellaveccia, JAH Oil and the mastery of Gary Woung. The unity of musicians and engineers has worked so well for so many years!

Highway To Zion is real! Graced with great licks from Tuff Lion and kicks from Dean Pond, Jah Bless flows with the same caliber as Jerry Johnson. An Odyssey of Kingly sound. Outstanding! Militant Swing rocks the boat with vibration. The trio of Jah Bless, Jarritt and guest trombonist Don Hylor Jr is pure style. The texture is there with a great mix from JAH David. Lightning & Thunder is power! With "Santa" Davis and JAH D providing Rootical feed, Jah Bless showers us with an appeal that's pure dynamite. An Aswadesque nuance segues way to a depth that has no boundaries. This man can play!!! Luther Vandross' Dance With My Father has been covered before (Dwight Pickney did it right) and this sax man offers up something ites. Paying homage to his own father, Jah Bless shows true emotion and the unity of all musicians shines on. Great vox from Chet Samuel. Salute! Jah Children Must Play is hypnotic from the first note with great arrangement and Rex Smith drumming taut. Quality production all the way.

Armageddon is horns up! A blazing skanker with the horn section bringing back memories of Burning Spear's "Burning Brass" of the '80's. Dean Pond and Tippy I are in complete alignment. Be Strong is magnificent!! Featuring "Chinna" Smith and Abijah (nuff respect), Jah Bless glides on a bluesy riddim with style and shows veteran. He ranks as one of the premier saxophonists out deh!! Journey For Love is a slower offering and shows the depth and versatility on all levels. Gary Woung mixes this number so nice; one of the best engineers in the industry. Tradition is vital! Wadi Gad commands attention on drums and allows Jah Bless to roam freely. A Dubby atmosphere niced up by JAH Oil. Crucial track indeed. Beautiful Mama is a kingly offering. With "Chinna" on riddim guitar and Peter Pan bubbling, the sax is masterclass fe real. Power Of The Trinity displays classic ZIK sound. Totally organic and total fulljoyment. The sounds of Mt. Zion come rolling down like distant thunder. The title track shows diversity. Over a progressive and Funk tinged riddim, Jah Bless pulls out all the stops and this man can ride ANY riddim with absolute authority.

JAH BLESS' "Redemption" is a stunning body of JAH art! Another example of how Zion I Kings continually bring out the best in the artist without trying to outdo themselves or previous works. The natural progression of their productions is inspiration from The Most High. All killer, nah filler! For those that are not aware of the mastery of JAH BLESS, this one's for you. For those that appreciate Real Authentic Sound, this one's for you. Highest recommendation! GO DEH!!!