Various artists album review
Arise Rootsman ~ Jamaican Roots 1965-1983
2 CD
July 22 - 2003

Tracking list

    Disc 1
  1. Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - After A Storm
  2. The Ethiopians - Train To Glory
  3. Bob Andy - Weep
  4. Nora Dean - Peace Begins Within
  5. Little Roy - Hard Fighter
  6. Maytones - Babylon A Fall
  7. Alton Ellis - Black Man's Pride
  8. Wailing Souls - Harbour Shark
  9. Greyhound - The Pressure Is Coming On
  10. Keith Hudson - Satan Side
  11. Rocking Horse - Hard Time
  12. Roman Stewart & Dave Barker - Changing Times
  13. Soul Syndicate - Riot
  14. Tommy McCook & Rad Wilson - Tubby's Control
  15. Heptones - Hypocrite
  16. Djago - Rebel Train
  17. Busty Brown - Throw Away Your Gun
  18. I Roy - Black Man Time
  19. Carlton And His Shoes - Better Days
  20. Ken Boothe - Black, Gold, And Green
  21. I Roy - Red, Gold And Green
  22. Glen Brown - 2 Wedden Skank
  23. Big Youth - The Killer
  24. Lee Perry - Justice To The People
   Disc 2
  1. Dennis Alcapone - Rasta Dub
  2. Silvertones - Rejoice Jah Jah Children
  3. Silvertones - Rejoicing Skank
  4. Big Youth & Keith Hudson - Can You Keep A Secret
  5. Heptones - Suffering So
  6. I Roy - Tip From The Prince
  7. Gregory Isaacs - Bad Da
  8. Augustus Pablo - Eli's Move
  9. Bobby Melody - Jah Bring I Joy
  10. Lizzard - Jah Jah Bless I
  11. Michael Robinson - Mother And Father
  12. One Love - The Slave Trade
  13. Knowledge - Sentry
  14. Jimmy Riley - Give Them Thanks And Praise
  15. Sugar Minott - Strange Things
  16. Ras Michael & Sons Of Negus - Where Is Your Goldmine
  17. Viceroys - We Must Unite
  18. Leroy Smart - Too Much Pressure
  19. Antony Johnson - Dreadlocks
  20. Wayne Jarrett - Satta Dread
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Beautifully packaged, the double cd 'Arise Rootsman ~ Jamaican Roots 1965-1983' comprises 44 rootical tracks drawn from Trojan's archives. The project is compiled and annotated by leading reggae journalist, Michael De Koningh, and follows in the wake of the highly acclaimed 'Place Called Africa' set of last year, by tracing the development of Roots from its very beginnings. Here you will find excellent, mostly well known ska, rocksteady, reggae and early dancehall sides from a period spanning almost twenty years of Jamaican history.
One of the first bands who started delivering tunes commenting on the painful situation of the poor people in the ghettos was Justin Hinds and The Dominoes. Check out his tune After A Storm. Leonard Dillon and his band The Ethiopians was another group whose tunes did well amongst the sufferers of the ghetto. One of their greatest moments was when they recorded Train To Glory. In contrary to their pop reggae hit tunes 'Moonlight River'and 'Black And White' UK based Greyhound is present here with a major roots tune called The Pressure Is Coming On. Ken Boothe's majestic Black Gold And Green gets accompanied by the deejay answer version from the great I Roy -Red Gold And Green. Both songs sum up the prevailing times with violent oppression on the streets and the 'sufferers' hope for a safe new day. Alton Ellis recorded Black Man's Pride for Studio One, but here you'll find a version he recorded on one of his frequent visits to London.
The 1970's saw the rise op hard-edged instrumentals, such as the 1971 cut Riot, an instrumemntal produced by Keith Hudson, featuring Johnny 'Dizzy' Moore on trumpet. Bobby Melody wasn't a prolific artist, but his rendition of the traditional 'Joy In the Morning', here retitled as Jah Bring I Joy is definitely an inpressive one ! The Silvertones recorded a few pieces for Coxsone Dodd and an album for Lee Perry. Included here is the tune Rejoice Jah Jah Children and dub version called Rejoicing Skank. Obscure bands like One Love delivered a decent tune with Slave Trade before slipping away into obscurity. The same goes for Michael Robinson whose Mother And Father stands as an example of first division UK roots reggae.
With some 44 classic roots tunes, 'Rootsman Arise' is essential food for thought !

Teacher & Mr. T.