June 2, 2004
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Hugh Mundell was born in East Kingston, Jamaica, on the 14th July 1962, and shot dead there in 1983 while sitting in a car with a very young Junior Reid. Mundell was extremely young when he recorded his first tune for producer Joe Gibbs, the unreleased "Where Is Natty Dread". However, his recording career really took off when his precocious talent impressed Horace Swaby better known as Augustus Pablo. Mundellís singing style was a hypnotic, chant-like vocalizing with a keen, ready tone-a kind of vocal counterpart to Pabloís Far East Sounds. Augustus Pablo produced the blessed youth's first single release "Africa Must Be Free" in 1975. From then Mundell went on to make other distinguished records for Pablo and maintained the association with him on his own "Muni Music" label until he went to record for Prince Jammy and Henry "Junjo" Lawes. Sundry other recordings were undertaken in his DJ mode as Jah Levi, surfacing mainly on 12-inch releases. The classic roots set "Africa Must Be Free In 1983" was released in 1978 and swiftly established Mundell's name as a new bright roots star. Two years after his debut set (at the age of 18!) he released his second album, "Time & Place", on his own "Muni Music" imprint, which was followed by the "Junjo" Lawes produced "Mundell", the self-produced "Blackman's Foundation" and the posthumous "Arise" album.