Family Affair
Winston Jarrett
Bigmore Productions
January 13, 2013

Winston Jarrett and the Righteous Flames Track list
  1. Let The Sunshine In
  2. Bring My Family Back
  3. Family Version
  4. Wear To The Ball
  5. Sheriff And His Deputy Come
  6. Where Have All The Soldiers Gone?
  7. Version
  8. Tide Is High
  9. You And Your Smiling Face
  10. All My Tears Come Rolling Down
  11. Jah Is A Temper
  12. Temper Version
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Total votes : 17
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
The Foundation of Reggae Music can never be ignored. That has always been Winston "Flames" Jarrett's philosophy. He has been creating fantastic authentic Rocksteady and Roots Reggae Musik for over fifty years. His latest self-production, "Family Affair", is a testament to the power of early Treasure Isle/Studio One riddims and the sheer glory of one of the best artists to ever come out of Jamaica.

Winston Jarrett was born in 1940 in St.Ann Parish and moved to the Jonestown area of Kingston as a youth. He began his career as part of Alton Ellis and The Flames in the early 1960's. He is responsible for penning such classics as "Sunday Coming" and "True Born African". In the late 1960's, Jarrett parted ways with Ellis and formed The Righteous Flames with Edgar Gardner and Jr. Green. They recorded many classics for Duke Reid, Coxsone Dodd and Lee Perry. In the late 1970's-1980's, Winston recorded as a solo artist generally. Great albums resulted, such as "Wise Man" (1979) and "Rocking Vibration" (1984). Subsequently, he reformed the Flames and put out the immortal "Jonestown" (1989) and "Kingston Vibration" (RAS,1991) and Too Many Boundaries (RAS,1995). In recent years, he is a solo artist once more with "Bushwhackers Gangbangers" (2010).

"Family Affair" is an ital affair, indeed. Utilizing great riddims from The Supersonics and Sly & Robbie, he voiced over these timeless tracks at Front Burner Studio in Seattle, Washington, with wicked engineering from Blake Dally. Let The Sunshine In is a joyous song that is made even greater with Winston's ability to juggle lead and harmony duties. The late Lyn Taitt is brought back to life on guitar and Tommy McCook and the remainder of the Supersonics remind us of how talented they really were. Winston uses a wicked yet minimal Sly & Robbie riddim to plead to Bring my family Back -perhaps missing the musicians that he grew up with -- great track. The version is a haul and pull selectah. The Paragons' Wear You To The Ball is ably handled by Winston; his humble voice adding iriginal touch. Sheriff And His Deputy Come is a song that Winston did many years ago and this time around it aches with emotion about the senseless actions of the police thieving Ganja. Jackie Jackson's bass and Gladdy Anderson's organ playing stands predominant here. A highlight track is Where Have All The Soldiers Gone; riding a classic Studio One riddim that once again shows the majestic voice of Winston. The version is niced up by Jackie Mittoo. John Holt's Tide Is High is revisited so nicely! The gentle shift of vocal expression and violin by Pangananny is impeccable.

You And Your Smiling Face is a song that has been covered many times. Winston handles it with ease. The symphony of Bobby Ellis/Marcus Horns and Tommy McCook give the Supersonic riddim another dimension -- surefya winner. All My Tears Come Rolling Down is a Rocksteady winner originally done at Treasure Isle by Alton Ellis. The vocal comparisons are evident here; with Lyn Taitt proving why he was once THE top bandleader in Jamaica. The militant Jah Is A Temper is a Dread anthem. This dance crasher boasts a gritty edge from Winston; this is a serious track with Jackie Mittoo letting the keys fly! This song is really the change from Rocksteady to early, early Reggae stylings.

Winston Jarrett is one of the most enduring figures that is still thriving today. One of the most humble and genuine idren one could ever meet; it is ites that the vicious cycle of 'surviving the game' has not dissuaded this artist. "Family Affair" is his best work since 1991's "Kingston Vibration" (with Roots Radics). His concept of paying homage to his musical family really hits home. Some whopping good vibration here. This release should not be ignored but sought out and savoured. If you are a fan of foundation riddims and the voice of a powerful artist then this is a must. Go deh!!!!!!!!!