Various artists album review
A Place Called Jamaica
16 - 09 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Derrick Harriott - Message From A Blackman
  2. Junior Murvin - Rescue The Children
  3. Horace Andy - Lonely Woman
  4. Roman & Dave - Changing Times
  5. Dave Robinson - Native Woman
  6. Keith & Tex - Stop That Train
  7. Scotty - I Worry
  8. Rudy Mills - A Place Called Happiness
  9. Big Youth - Cool Breeze
  10. Dennis Brown - Lips Of Wine
  11. Earl Sixteen - Malcolm X
  12. Winston McAnuff - Ugly Days
  13. Earl Sixteen - Dreadlocks Unite
  14. The Chosen Few - Shaft
  15. Derrick Harriott - The Loser
  16. Scotty & Derrick - Sesame Street
  17. Augustus Pablo & Derrick - Bells Of Death
  18. Keith & Tex - This Is My Song
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

The recently founded French label Makasound has put out their first three initial releases. 'A Place Called Jamaica', subtitled 'Derrick Harriott's productions from the 60's and 70's' is a deadly collection of tunes from Derrick's output of the period 1967 to 1976.
Although he is famous as a singer, his other work from the 50's to the present day remains only marginally known. Singer, producer, composer, promoter, distributor and record store owner, he is without any doubt one of the greatest contributors to the vitality of his music. From 1967, he started to produce and record with lots of artists, who quickly became stars: The Chosen Few, Keith & Tex, Horace Andy, The Kingstonians and The Ethiopians, only to name a few. He was the first to produce the young Dennis Brown, who was only 12 years old when Lips Of Wine, was released. During the 70's Derrick focused on promotion and distribution, but still continued to produce some of the greatest reggae artists, like Junior 'Soul' Murvin, Big Youth, Bongo Herman and I-ROY. He as well recorded several sessions at the Channel One studio with Sly & Robbie and The Revolutionaries, and even produced Sly Dunbar's first album 'Go Deh With Riddim'.
The album includes gems such as Derrick's rendition of The Temptations Message From A Blackman, from 1973 comes Junior Murvin's Rescue The Children, originally released under Junior's pseudonym at that time Junior Soul. From 1969 comes 'Changing Times', not the Dennis Brown take, but the Roman (Stewart) & Dave version. The hit tune Stop That Train from Keith & Tex is accompanied by Big Youth's version of the song called Cool Breeze. Derrick Harriot's The Loser still is a popular tune, although it was recorded some 25 years back ! Here you'll find two more versions of the song : Scotty & Derrick's Sesame Street and Augustus Pablo's Bells Of Death.
Earl Sixteen is present here with two awesome tracks. First there's Malcolm X, a song written by Winston McAnuff, and then he delivers the roots anthem Dreadlocks Unite.
All the tracks were produced by Derrick Harriot between 1967 and 1976 at Randy's, Federal, Dynamics and King Tubby's. Involved musicians include The Crystalites, The Chariot Riders and The Conscious Minds.
The CD is a must have for lovers of both, rocksteady and roots, and comes with full colour 20 page booklet including comprehensive track by track notes, the producer's story in English and French language and a lot of rare and unreleased artist photos.

Teacher & Mr. T.