Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Passin Thru (The Remix)
Lazo
YT Records
CD
March 30, 2014

Track list
  1. Radikal Reggae
  2. Serious Time
  3. Heaven's Door
  4. Passin Thru
  5. Trip To Paradise
  6. Sunfest
  7. Marketplace
  8. When
  9. Sun And Rain
  10. Zion Life
  11. Pleasure And Pain
  12. Brand New Day
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
For decades, Canada has been a hotbed of Roots Reggae Musik. Since the 1960's, Jackie Mittoo, Johnny Osbourne, Vernon Maytone, Leroy Sibbles, The Sattalites and many more have left a Lion's imprint and this Royal lineage continues with LAZO. A mainstay on the scene for years; his latest offering, "Passin Thru (The Remix)" is a refreshing and urgent update of his 2010 album of the same name. The Northern Lights are shining bright...

LAZO (Lazarus Jno Finn) was born in Castle Bruce, Dominica and started his illustrious career from an early age. At 15, he started "Black Blood" whose debut album charted number 2 in the Caribbean charts! This humble Rastaman immigrated to Canada and promptly formed the UNITY BAND to a great deal of success. After relocating to the musical hub of Toronto, the LAZO BAND was formed and "Satisfaction Guaranteed" was well received. In the early 90's, LAZO went solo and became the first Canadian Reggae artist to be signed to the groundbreaking RAS Records label (big up Dr.Dread). The resulting "Impetus" was critically acclaimed. In 1995, he was nominated for a JUNO (equal to a Grammy) for "Something Real". His hit, "Crucial" mashed up the charts and received extensive airplay on BET and CSN. After numerous awards and JUNO nominations; he got this prestigious award for "Heart And Soul" in 2000. He has toured extensively across Creation and was a member of the Wailer's 2010 tour. The future is bright for this talent who is being represented by Entertainment Works (raspect Nan Lewis/Johan Livens).

This set features LAZO's diverse musicianmanship (guitar, bass, keys, percussion). He's ably assisted by drummies Paul Bennett/Alex Laracque. Julien Martin bubbles on keys and longtime collaborator I-Sax is brilliant on sax/flute. Great backing vox from Hermina George and percussion from Saba. "Passin Thru" was initially recorded at RUCKUS RECORDING (Toronto) and remixed by Anthony Hibbert/Sam Weller at Slaam Studios (Toronto).

The opener, Radikal Reggae (first heard on Impetus) is a blazing ode to King's Musik. LAZO possesses a Marleyesque quality with a unique and soulful approach. I-Sax's work abounds thru the solid riddim that is finished with a nice DJ style by the singer. Serious Time is seriously good. Over a taut riddim, LAZO shows raw emotion but has a graceful flow to his style. Intelligent lyrics with a sense of purpose. Heaven's Door has been covered countless times but LAZO nails it! Using the full range of his vocal power; he mashes it up over a tight backbone niced up by I-Sax's genius and some brilliant bass, drum and guitar. Nice chanting style to close this yah one. The title track is a standout selection. A worldly observation that showcases his songwriting abilities and arrangement; it's solid to the core with a lilting riddim and engaging atmosphere. Trip To Paradise shows a Lover's style and fits nicely. Sunfest is pure anthem! LAZO has performed at this premier event 15 years inna row and should be THE theme song for the festival! Paul Bennett has a Sly Dunbar quality and the guitar chops and basslines are well wicked!

Marketplace is a slow skanker that has a unique Worldbeat feel. Lyrics like "big disgrace to see the human race in this marketplace" makes this pure fyah! Great insightful song. When is bubbling with intelligence and urgency. A plea for righteousness flecked with taut drums from Sun Ray and LAZO's guitar and bass work. This track really rocks. Sun And Rain really expresses the seasoned talent of this fine singer. A Lover's classic with a disciplined riddim that is intoxicating fe real. Zion Life is a triumphant calling to flee the city and wickedness. Really captures the Roots vibration. Pleasure And Pain is cool and deadly with originality. LAZO chants smoothly about Life's ups and downs over a rich and soulful riddim. The closer Brand New Day is Roots for these modern times. Pleasantly mixed, LAZO gives us hope over an intricate musical backbone and great backing vox. Yes, indeed!

"Passin Thru" (The Remix) should not be passed up! LAZO is a veteran and has flourished for many decades with consistency and tenacity. This set really shows his musical skills on all sides of the spectrum. This set truthfully conveys the spirit of King's Musik and given an ites remix that is not overdone but leaves the listener with a feeling of real undiluted sound with no gimmicks. Seek this work out and all of LAZO's previous gems. Highly recommended to all music lovers. GO DEH!!