Menny's Book Of Riddims
July 29, 2012
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Although he's in reggae music business for over two decades, Menny More -- formerly known as DJ Ryder -- still isn't a household name in reggae circles. That might change with the release of his latest project called "Menny's Book Of Riddims".
Born Junior Morrison in Kingston Jamaica on November 26, 1976, he lived in Duhaney Park, Kingston, moved around Jamaica to Manchester, Portmore, with his parents and by the time he was 10 years old began splitting time between Jamaica and New York. There, at Count Shelly's Super Power Records, he started to become acquainted with some of the biggest New York reggae artists of the day like for example Nicodemus, Sluggy Ranks, Trevor Sparks, Louie Rankin, Sleepy Wonder, Mikey Jarret, Bobo General and the "Don Dada" Supercat. It was with this crew that he was first introduced to recording and producing reggae music in some of the biggest reggae studios of the time: Don One, HC&F, Sir Tommy, Ruddy, 3R, Living Room, and Toy Factory.
Junior Morrison took on the DJ name Ryder around 1990, which is when his recording career started. It was at this time that the young DJ was also introduced to singing melodies and started to play with the concepts. After recording a number of singles, including his 1991 debut single "Longie Longie", and going back and forth between New York and Jamaica, Ryder also started spending time at Jammy's Studio in Kingston. In 1994, Ryder recorded “Thunderball” on the Stalag riddim with Jammy’s and then the name Menny More was bestowed on him. His new moniker was given to him by Baby Wayne, one of his favorite deejays.
Menny More continued to record with King Jammy and his son John John from 1995 - 1998, and delivered cuts on the "Heavenless", "Father Jungle Rock", "Tight Clothes", "Bellyas", and "Head To Toe" riddims. In 1997 he recorded the tune "Hot Gal" for Bobby Digital and a song called "Me A Move" for Calibud, Bobby Digital's son. It was the legendary Dennis Brown, whom he met at Don One studio, who first suggested that Menny More sing instead of DJ. He continued to hone his skill and through his good friend Junior Jazz he linked up with the Easy Star All Stars back in the early days of the band. As a member of the Easy Star All Stars he has been touring the world over, and over, during 7 years.
After having released his first solo album, "The Journey", in 2011, he now comes up with his sophomore album called "Menny's Book Of Riddims", with over 40 musicians, artists and engineers having participated in the making of this collection of tunes. In addition to writing the lyrics and singing lead on the tracks, Menny More also sang most of his own backups, played various instruments and acted as musical director on the relicks of classic riddims, which include a.o. Al Campbell's "Take A Ride" (probably better known as Johnny Osbourne's "Truths & Rights"), Michael Prophet's "Gunman", and Delroy Wilson's "Conquer Me".
Things get started in great style with the uplifting message tune "Never Giving Up", which comes across a riddim with an awesome thumping bassline and nice dubby echo effects. A relicked classic backdrop underpins the real fine lovers piece "Now That She's Here". Next comes one of the few mediocre efforts featured on this album, Menny More's rendition of Whitney Houston's "One Moment In Time". However, "What Dem A Go Do" instantly makes one forget the previous track as this is a worthwhile piece to hear. And the niceness continues to leap off the speakers with the wonderful cultural piece "Power That He Gave Us".
Then it's time for wicked 'old skool' dancehall vibes. Menny More delivers the soundbwoy tune "Champion Sound" on a new version of the "Take A Ride aka Truths & Rights" riddim, while the deadly combination with Michael Rose, "Gunman", revitalizes Michael Prophet's "Gunman" riddim from 1980. Before the next relicks of classic riddims utilized for the solid "Worm" and the matching "Conquering Lion" (a collaboration with reggae vet Phillip Fraser) drop, we're treated to the modern sounds of "Innocent". The remaining six tracks include the very enjoyable pieces "Man A Kang Kara", "Nah Leave Out Jah", and "Life We Say".
In all, "Menny's Book Of Riddims" makes a solid impression. It showcases that Menny More has the skills and talent to become a force to reckon with.