Mysterious Nature
African Brothers
Zenah Music
November 5, 2004

Track list
  1. Free Like A Bird
  2. If There Is A Will
  3. Weep And Mourn
  4. Tell Me Why
  5. Give Thanks And Praises
  6. Hey Girl
  7. All Night
  8. No Need To Wonder
  9. It Shouldn't Be Like That
  10. Couldn't Make It
  11. Mysterious Nature
  12. Fun Time
  13. Tell Me Why In Dub
  14. Dub For Girl
  15. All Night In Dub
  16. Dub Affe Make It
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Lincoln Barrington Minott - born in Kingston, Jamaica, on May 25, 1956 - began his career in the sound systems while still a child, working as a selector for the Sound of Silence Keystone outfit, before launching his own Gathering of Youth sound system just as he hit his teens. There, too, he carried on merely as the selector. However, in 1969, Minott decided to take the mic himself, not as a DJ, but as a singer, one third of the African Brothers roots trio, alongside Winston "Tony Tuff" Morris and Derrick "Bubbles" Howard. The group initially made their way around the amateur talent show circuit, but eventually linked up with the Micron label. African Brothers released a number of singles over the next few years, including "Party Night", "Gimme Gimme African Love", and "A Di System" cut with producer Jah Bunny.

The trio also began self-producing, their first attempt was "Torturing", and then launched their own Ital label. By this time, the trio's Abyssinian influence was becoming prominent, as can be heard on "Righteous Kingdom", "Youths of Today", and "Lead Us Father". In 1970, African Brothers cut "Mysterious Nature" with producer Rupie Edwards, which brought them to the attention of Studio One. Their debut song for that label, "No Cup No Broke", was also their last, and the trio split to pursue solo careers. Now, 35 years after they emerged, the African Brothers are back again, although not in the original line-up as founding members Sugar Minott and Tony Tuff are joined by Triston Palma (who gained fame with his Jah Thomas produced dancehall anthem "Entertainment") and Ken Bob (not a household name in reggae, but nevertheless known for a few notable tunes like for example his enduring, evocative classic "In Danger").

With "Mysterious Nature" Zenah Music, a young and prolific French roots label that has released three cd's in collaboration with Sugar Minott within one year, unleashes a solid album that will certainly please fans of '70s roots harmony. Featured are brand new tunes (except for a wicked remake of "Mysterious Nature"), with Tony Tuff singing lead on the majority of the tracks, just like he did when he was part of the initial line-up of the African Brothers. Sugar Minott does the lead vocal on two tracks, Triston Palma takes lead on one, while all three have one together. It's Ken Bob who provides additional back up vocals. Strong harmonies and melodies carry "If There's A Will", "Weep And Mourn", "Hey Girl", "It Shouldn't Be Like That", "Couldn't Make It", and the aforementioned "Mysterious Nature", while the rest, though not spectacular, is solid throughout. Besides the fact that the harmony between Sugar Minott, Triston Palma and Ken Bob is truly wicked, one simply has to credit the players of instruments, including Manjul, Hugh Valot, Nicolas Barot, Romeo Gray, Tony Greene, because they have done a real good job.