Album review
Showcase Volume 1
Prezident Brown
Jahmani Productions
09 - 06 - 2002

Tracking list

Disc 1 - To Jah Only

  1. To Jah Only (Praying For The World)
  2. In This Life
  3. Pomps And Pride
  4. Micro Chip
  5. Faith
  6. Woman Of The Rising Sun featuring Chachi
  7. Lionheart
  8. Rough Road
  9. Mother Nature
  10. Encouragement
  11. Straighten Out By Tomorrow
  12. Mystery Babylon
  13. African Woman
  14. Learn It On My Own
  15. Herbsman
  16. Down In The Valley

Disc 2 - Dub To Jah Only

  1. Dub To Jah Only
  2. In This Dub
  3. Pomps Dub And Pride
  4. Micro Dub
  5. Dub With Faith
  6. Woman Of The Rising Dub
  7. Lion Dub
  8. Rough Dub
  9. Mother Nature Dub
  10. Straighten Out By Dub
  11. Mystery Dub
  12. African Woman Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Jahmani Productions unleashes two double cd's, featuring the works of the Prez. Showcase Volume One is a remastered 28 track double cd set, comprising the album "To Jah Only" plus three unreleased tracks and the unreleased dub album "Dub To Jah Only".
Prezident Brown belongs to the school of culture-oriented deejays which developed in the nineties, following on from the success of Tony Rebel. Born Fitz Albert Cotterell, he grew up in the north coast resort of Ocrabessa, where he began deejaying at the Bamboo Lounge with local sound King Stereo Mix. Initially known as Junior Ranking, he was soon called Slim Brown by veteran deejay Nicodemus, who spotted the influence of U Brown in the youngster's style. It was the late Jack Ruby who finally crowned him 'Prezident'. In 1986 Prezident Brown made his debut recording for Ochi label RG with a track called 'Dancehall Doctor'. Roughly two years later he linked up with Callo Collins, Barry O'Hare and Stephan Stewart at Grove Music, recording songs like 'Introducing Prezident Brown', 'Madly In Love' and 'Magnet & Steel'. Prior to Irie FM playing music by north coast acts, Brown transferred to Courtney Cole's 'Roof International' label, voicing 'Sound Ago Dead', 'Tears' and 'Everything's Right' (shared with Jack Radics and Professor Frisky). Once Irie FM was up and running he rejoined Barry O'Hare and the hits began to flow in earnest. Unlike many other Jamaican artists Prezident Brown isn't a high prolific artist. Rather than flooding the reggae market with lots of singles he takes time to concentrate on bringing "roots with quality". His latest album - a Kariang production - is released three years after he delivered "Prezident Selections" and the Bobby "Digital Dixon produced "Original Blue Print". Regarding Prezident Brown's efforts on his fifth album since he made his recording debut in 1986 the waiting for was well worth.
With "To Jah Only (Praying For The World)" he delivers a varied and strong contemporary roots album filled with many excellent tunes, no filler to be found. The appealing "live" played riddims - laid by fine musicians such as Benjy Myaz, Ian "Beezy" Coleman, Ernest Ranglin, Barry O'Hare, Devon Bradshaw, Michael Miller, Donald Dennis, Paul Crosdale, Chico Chin and Tony Green - fit Prezident Brown's chanting style very well. The production is solid with the instruments and backing vocals balancing up nicely. From the impressive nyabinghi flavoured title track "To Jah Only (Praying For The World)" through "African Woman" - in which he praises women - Prezident Brown keeps you involved with his striking conscious and uplifting lyrics (among them some of his most personal to date), which are fortunately included in the sleeve booklet.
Besides the aforementioned tunes our personal favourites include "Pomps And Pride", the uplifting "Faith", the autobiographical "Rough Road", the superlative chant "Mystery Babylon" and the combination song "Woman Of The Rising Sun" - largely incorporating the same English lyrics as utilized in "African Woman" - with sister Chanchi delivering her part of the lyrics in Amharic. The addition of 3 bonus tracks is an excellent completion to the album.
The previously unreleased dub set "Dub To Jah Only" offers twelve awesome contemporary dub pieces, all of them mixed by the peerless Barry O'Hare at the Source of Sound Studio in Oche Rios.
Showcase Volume One has lots of excellent Prezidential stuff to offer !

Teacher & Mr. T.