Album review
Rising In the East
Jove Music

Tracking list

  1. Don't stay out late
  2. Soul serenade (rasta style)
  3. Easy snappin'
  4. Try to reach de top
  5. Chiang kai shek
  6. Peanut vendor
  7. I know
  8. Vin Laurence park
  9. So so
  10. West End sundown
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : - Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3

Rico Rodriguez, born on October 17, 1934, in Mark Lane, Kingston 2, Jamaica was educated for 12 years at the Alpha Boys School, a catholic institution that placed a heavy emphasis on musical tuiton. The school was responsible for nurturing the first generation of great Jamaican musicians : from its classrooms came trombonist Don Drummond, trumpeter Johnny "Dizzy"Moore, and saxophonists Lester Sterling and Ronald Alphonso, who together went on to form the horn section of the Skatalites.
In the early fifties Rico joined Count Ossie and The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari. He worked on literally hundreds of sessions for Coxsonne Dodd, Duke Reid, Vincent Chin, Leslie Kong and Prince Buster. Arriving in London in 1961 he started working as a session musician for artists such as Laurel Aitken, Georgie Fame, Joe Mansano, and others. In the late sixties he cut a few albums, but these albums didn't manage to properly capture his music.
Returning to Jamaica he recorded with the cream of Jamaican session musicians, the excellent "Man from Wareika". This album and the limited edition dub version, showed the real Rico, fresh and inventive with dazzling virtuosity, even with an instrument as cumbersome as the trombone.
With arrival of the ska revival of the early eighties, Rico enjoyed great succes playing on stage and on records with several UK ska bands. Two albums followed (That man is Forward and Jama Rico) before he returned to Jamaica.
"Rising In The East" is produced by Kuubo, Japan's leading exponent of reggae music. Rico and Kuubo met in Jamaica in the late eighties, when Kuubo was living and working in Kingston. Returning to Japan, Kuubo founded The Rare Riddim Crew, a band playing all kind styles of Jamaican music.
The album is a well balanced mixture of new, original tunes and time-honoured classics such as "Peanut Vendor", Babba Brooks' "Chiang Kai Shek", Lord Creator's "Don't stay out late", Theophilius Beckford's "Easy Snappin", and King Curtis' "Soul Serenade". On "I Know" Rico and Morri'ce take lead vocals, all the other tracks are instrumentals. On the album you can hear a relaxed playing Rico, backed by the Japanes Rare Riddim Crew, and a few guest musicans on sax, trummpet and guitar. It's a very pleasant and enjoyable album, with a variety of styles. ranging from ska to early nineties dancehall riddims !

Teacher & Mr. T.