Great Jah Jah
Wackies - Indigo
June 30, 2006

Jezzreel - Great Jah Jah Track list
  1. Love Of My Life
  2. Sun Will Shine
  3. Great Jah Jah
  4. Roman Soldiers
  5. Living In The Ghetto
  6. Where Is That Love
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 4
To quote from the Bible: "The fourth lot came out for Issachar, for the tribe of Issachar, according to its families. Its territory included Jezreel" (Joshua 19:17-18 RSV) and that's the city just east of Meggido (where the last battle in the Armagideon is believed by some to take place) and residency of Samarian greedy king Ahab, that this Wackies singing duo took its name Jezzreel from. Stepping forward from vocally backing many sessions at Bullwackie's House Of Music (e.g. innumerable Sugar Minott recordings) Clive Davis and Christopher Harvey as Jezzreel, backed by one of Lloyd 'Bullwackie' Barnes' house bands, New Breed, with a.o. Jah Scotty drumming, as well as Bullwackie's son Bob and another Bullwackie son, Shaan, featured on lead and rhythm guitars, alongside Reggae Jerry a.k.a. Jerry Hitster a.k.a. Jerry Hitler, and with further contributions by Luddie on drums, Roy Robertson and Brother Umoja on bass, Steppy on keyboards and Lloyd Barnes himself disguising as the Chosen Brothers adding percussion and backing vocals by Junior Delahaye and DJ Calabash. Heavy roots tunes with well sung vocal harmony whether on love songs like "Love Of My Life" kicking in heavy after a 'child playing piano'-intro in full showcase style, like every other song on this 1980 "Great Jah Jah (Showcase)" album extended with its corresponding dub, before an almost minor-key intro kicks off the uplifting song of gratitude "Sun Will Shine" that in a way reminds of Sylford Walker's works. The title song "Great Jah Jah", like "Love Of My Life" written by Lloyd Barnes, the other tracks by Clive Davis except for the last tune, is a great sung prayer followed by the impressive "Roman Soldiers" featuring a toast by DJ Calabash, of which the riddim not only gets dubbed up here past the halfway mark, but this rockers-riddim also reappeared as the title track on "Natures Dub" as is the riddim for the next tune "Living In The Ghetto" that appeared as "Kicking Scott" on that same album, an archetypical early 80s vocal harmony roots tune, but a very good one. The Chucky, whoever he may be, written "Where Is That Love" has a great rocksteady feel, and a constant bird-chirping in the background, another standout tune, with again the dub by Lloyd 'Bullwackie' Barnes & Prince Douglas a.k.a. Jah Hamma maximizing the pleasure gotten out of this album. This CD presents the album showcase style in the original track order, yet another great rerelease in the string of classic Wackies albums that have been (re)released by Berlin dub-techno duo Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus a.k.a. Rhythm & Sound, as part of their rerelease program of the complete Wackie's catalog, but it could have been even better (as shown by the great John Clarke release "Rootsy Reggae / Visions Of John Clarke" by including their second 1982 Wackies album "Rockers (Showcase Vol. 2)" as the length of this album seems to have left enough spare room on this CD. More on Rhythm & Sound's own releases, whether technodub on Basic Channel or their Rhythm & Sound label can be found at the Basic Channel Website.