Album review
Gentleman And The Far East Band
Four Music-Columbia
22 - 10 - 2003

Tracking list

Disc 1

  1. Intro
  2. Fire Ago Bun Dem
  3. See Dem Coming
  4. Jah Ina Yu Life
  5. Ina Different Time feat. Daddy Rings
  6. Love Chant
  7. Man A Rise
  8. Jah Jah Never Fail
  9. Dangerzone
  10. Check Dis - Daddy Rings
  11. What She Deserves
  12. Children Of Tomorrow
  13. Dem Gone
Disc 2

  1. Good Days - Tamika and Mamadee
  2. Live It Up
  3. Rainy Days feat. Martin Jondo and Tamika
  4. Call Me On The Telephone - Daddy Rings
  5. Runaway
  6. Stranded - Matthias The Dread
  7. Politition Bwoy
  8. Sunshine - Allstars
  9. Fire Ago Bun Dem
  10. Leave Us Alone
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5

The question bothering the ones knowing about the absolute sensational entry at #15 in the German (pop)album charts could be whether this album is really that extraordinary. To answer that question before going into details: yes it is. Even if you already own Gentleman's studio albums, "Trodin On" and "Journey To Jah", this is a live album you want to own. The studioalbums might have left some wondering, are these Gentleman-albums or 'just' feature-albums, and having listened to them probably already understood that artists like Bounty Killer, Morgan Heritage, Capleton and others were all just supporting Gentleman's vibes. This live album, where his support comes mainly from Jamaican living in Germany spar Daddy Rings, proves Gentleman can do all his selections breath-takingly on his own, backed by the Far East Band, the former ska-reggae then dancehall band Messer Banzani, once musical home to Germaican Records' Leander 'Pionear' Topp and Tom Topp.
The first disc kicks off with a one-minute "Intro" by the Far East Band, playing some hook-lines from Gentleman songs, before seguing into a short version of "Fire Ago Bun Dem" with Gentleman greeting his home audience in Cologne, singing while joining the band on stage. The first full track is "See Dem Coming", followed by "Jah Ina Yuh Life", two wicked tracks from his latest studio album "Journey To Jah". And it only gets better when Daddy Rings, also featured with Jamali on the album version, joins him for a splendid rendition of "Ina Different Time". I found "Love Chant" one of the absolute killer tracks on the JTJ album, only to find out that the live-version is even better, starting off in a slow mood, it builds up getting a hold on you. And it may be unfortunate that Bounty Killer isn't joining Gentleman on stage to perform their combination tune "Man A Rise", but Daddy Rings joins in after the intro sung acapella for a matching rendition of it, towards the end culminating in a great ska stomper as a backing for Tamika & Mamadee to showcase their great harmonies. The only track still played from "Trodin On" was my favorite track on it, with Gentleman doing a great job, in singing also Terry Linen's part, after the audience starting singing along the acapella intro, with again to full effect shown towards the end how strong the Far East Band and backup singers are. "Danger Zone" is even more convincing as well in the live version than the JTJ album version, on which Gentleman introduces all the members of the Far East Band. Daddy Rings shows his capabilities as a solo artist on solo-track "Check Dis", and shows the quality of his "African Glory"-EP that appeared early this year, 5(!) years after his very solid debut set "Stand Out", it should leave everyone on the look out for his later this year scheduled album. From the "Runaway EP" the superb track "What She Deserves" shows, even without Glen Washington, its power, and the power of Gentleman and his lyrics and music. "Children Of Tomorrow" with its wicked bassline featured in a solo is followed by the last song of before the band leaves the stage, the very popular "Dem Gone" in a 7 minutes plus version.
The second disc containing the encores starts with the fine "Good Days" by the great backing singers Tamika & Mamadee, before "Live It Up", originally with Capleton on the "Runaway EP" gets a great live treatment. Current single "Rainy Days" has a guest appearance from very convincing Martin Jondo, and features also a verse by a once again excelling Tamika. Daddy Rings does another fine solo track, his "Call Me On The Telephone" over the "Celebrate" riddim, before the Gentleman take on that same Pow Pow-riddim, "Runaway". "Stranded" is a solo track by percussionist and backing singer Mathias the Dread. A yet to be released track in studio version is "Politition Bwoy" a track reminding of the 'More Fire' tracks and riddims by Jamaican's own singjays. And all featured singers join together with Gentleman to perform the uplifting and melodious "Sunshine" with another fine saxophone solo by Johanna, before the band leaves the stage for the second time. When they return for a second encore, Gentleman once again does the DJ-part of one of his album guests, this time doing Capleton's verses on "Fire A Go Bun Dem", that has a wicked version, with the members of the Far East Band once again introduced and doing some wicked solo pieces and the backup singers thanked by Gentleman, superb. And then the last track is another example of the great live qualities of Gentleman, in this live version "Leave Us Alone" is an absolute superb way to close a concert and this disc. I do recommend this disc to everyone, a must have, check "Gentleman's website" for more on this great artist and his releases.