The Sannic Sounds Of Tommy McCook
Tommy McCook
Dub Store Records
CD / LP / Digital Release
August 19, 2015

Track list
  1. Determination Skank
  2. South Side
  3. When I Fall In Love
  4. Funky Reggae
  5. It Ain't Who You Know
  6. More Music
  7. Brand New Man
  8. Dirty Harry
  9. Flute Instrumental
  10. When Something Is Wrong
  11. Scatterlight Rock
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Lead Instrument : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4
"The Sannic Sounds Of Tommy McCook" shines the light on tenor saxophonist & flautist Tommy McCook (born Havana, Cuba 1927, died May 5th 1998 Atlanta USA) who left an indelible stamp on the course of modern Jamaican music both as founding member of the legendary Skatalites and as a master session musician thereafter. Besides that it also gives a good impression of the distinctive production work of one of the most underrated producers of the '70s, the great Glen Brown aka the Rhythm Master. The latter began his career in the '60s as vocalist with Sonny Bradshaw's jazz group and subsequently recorded duets with Hopeton Lewis, Dave Barker and Lloyd Robinson. In the early '70s he started to produce and release, first on the Shalimar label in association with businessman M.G. Mahtani and then, in 1972, on his own Pantomime and Dwyer imprints. Though some strong vocals appeared on his labels, Glen Brown is mainly associated with the top-quality instrumental and deejay versions of his highly original riddims.

"The Sannic Sounds Of Tommy McCook", an album released by Dub Store Records (a reissue label from Tokyo, Japan), contains tracks that were featured on a white label pressing circa 1977, but never saw an official release, even though it was assigned a catalogue number [GR 010]. The original title for this long playing release was initially advertised on the label of the 7" single release of "Determination Skank" as "The Sannic Sounds Tommy McCook", however the album was released in Kingston in 1974 in ultra limited quantities on a white label in a plain recycled cover rubber-stamped "Tommy McCook Dub". In 2004 the tracks of that album appeared on cd for the very first time when the defunct Blood & Fire Records put out Tommy McCook's "Blazing Horns/Tenor In Roots". Compared with the latter this release lacks "Tubby's Control" aka "Tubby's At The Control", but adds 3 other titles including "Determination Skank", "Brand New Man" and "Flute Instrumental".

Tommy McCook first recorded for Glen Brown in 1972, which led to the release of the single "More Music" with "Tubby's At The Control on the flipside. Not unexpectedly, Glen Brown was actually the first to credit Tubby on a record as he was accustomed to leave his riddims with the dubmaster to mix them. "More Music", a great cut on the choppy "Merry Up" riddim with Ron Wilson on trombone, is included here along with the classic instrumental killers "Determination Skank" (featuring Bobby Ellis, Richard Hall & Glen Brown) and its next version "Dirty Harry", a masterful horns workout from saxophonists Tommy McCook and Richard Hall that gave the latter musician his nickname. Furthermore there's a noteworthy Tommy McCook version on the "Slaving" riddim entitled "South Side" (aka "Music From South Side" aka "Everyday Sax"), which is great to hear. In fact this can also be said about most of the other eccentric bass heavy soul grooves that are featured on this album. "Scatterlight Rock" across the "Father's Call" riddim rounds off in the same excellent way as things got started.

"The Sannic Sounds" is a superb collection with Tommy McCook blowing over a selection of Glen Brown's best-known riddims.