Charcoal Charlie
Pablove Black
January 1, 2015

Track list
  1. Cool Meditation
  2. Simple Simon
  3. Hi Jack South Africa
  4. Easy Street Rock
  5. Sunday Lunch
  6. All Over The World
  7. Charcoal Charlie
  8. Keep On Skanking
  9. MI5
  10. 112 Elmer Gardens
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 3/4 Production : 3/4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Pablove Black (born Paul Anthony Dixon, October 24, 1950) is a Jamaican reggae musician (keyboards & steel drums), arranger, composer, bandleader, vocalist and producer, who has been backing Jamaica's greatest artists since the early 1960s and has credits on many albums including those of artists like Beres Hammond, Freddie McGregor, The Gladiators, Jimmy Cliff, Judy Mowatt, Sugar Minott and Toots & The Maytals.

Pablove Black started playing piano and steel drums in the mid 1960's and, within six months, made his first television appearance with Pan Master, Kelvin Hart and the all Trinidadian Federal All Star Steel Band. By 1968 he was a member of the UWI Carnival Champions, The Wanderers.

In 1971, Pablove Black, already exposed to the roots music of the Skatalites, joined the studio One Crew and, under the watchful eyes of legendary producer Coxsone Dodd and great musicians such as Jackie Mittoo (keyboards), Ernest Ranglin (guitar), and Roland Alphanso (saxophone), made invaluable contributions playing keyboards, arranging music and doing background vocals with legendary bassman Earl 'Bagga' Walker and the Soul Defenders for artists like Dennis Brown, Burning Spear, Marcia Griffiths, Freddie McGregor, and Johnny Osbourne. In 1978 his debut album "Mr. Music Originally" was released by Studio One. It featured some absolute murder tracks on it, but there were also tracks included that you could live without. All in all the B-sides he did on Studio One 7" singles were more interesting to hear.

Pablove Black then worked at the Black Ark Studios of Lee 'Scratch' Perry where he collaborated on products for Little Roy ("Tribal War"), and Junior Byles ("Curly Locks"), along with Junior Dan (bass) and Benbow (drums), and also worked a lot with Roy Cousins for whom he was the backbone of most of his really creative work. In 1986 Roy Cousins put out Pablove Black's second album entitled "Charcoal Charlie", which was recorded at Easy Street Recording Studio in London. The album, which features four vocal tracks and six instrumentals, has a semi-computerized sound reminiscent of what could be heard on tunes such as Sugar Minott's "Herbman Hustling" and Paul Blake & The Blood Fire Posse's hits from 1984, "Rub A Dub Soldier" and "Every Posse Get Flat". Pablove Black isn't the best singer and thus he has to benefit from the riddim - like for example in the album opener "Cool Meditation" - to make his vocal efforts worth hearing. Also a few instrumentals aren't that great to listen to, however this doesn't go for "Sunday Lunch", the title track "Charcoal Charlie" and "112 Elmer Gardens".

Overall opinion is that "Charcoal Charlie" is a relaxing album by a Reggae stalwart and skilled composer, arranger, keyboards player.