Barmagrande Presents Liberta
Creative Commons
June 21, 2013

Track list
  1. Big Youth - Interconnection
  2. Cedric Myton - Vegeterian Man
  3. Bernard "Satta" Collins - Back From The Future
  4. Luciano - Waiting For Help
  5. Queen Ifrica - C'est La Vie
  6. Freddie McGregor - My Meditation
  7. Franklyn Montague - Good Man
  8. Tony Rebel - Peace In Oneself
  9. Max Romeo - Inner Potential
  10. Bob Andy - Free Tibet
  11. Bob Andy - Liberta
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Things are ITAL in Italy. Alborosie cut teeth early in his career as frontman of Reggae National Tickets and Max Romeo linked with Tribu Acustica for his classic "In This Time" (1999) set. The next generation of Italian Roots is here and it's good. Barmagrande is a four piece Roots unit that's been mashing up this humble country for a while. They recently linked up with some of Jamaica's best musicians and engineers for a searing new set called "Liberta". The lyrics are inspired by The Most High and Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh.

Barmagrande are comprised of Sandro Donda (vox, bass and guitars), Emma Lercardi (vox, keys), Marco Donda (drums) and Massimo Dionisi (additional guitars). There are guest musicians from Morocco, Ecuador and Tibet. Jamaican legends Stephen Stewart (keys, mixing), guitarist Dalton Brownie, percussionists Scully and Sticky, hornsmen The Gayle Brothers and Alphonso Craig were brought into this great project. Recording took place at Barma Studio Latte (Italy) and Harry J's (JA) and it was expertly mixed by Stephen Stewart and Clive Jeffrey (Dubking).

This set kicks off with legendary DJ Big Youth joyfully chanting inna fine style. The mingling of Barmagrande's competent singing and the legend's playful style over of a Ska soaked riddim is sizzling. Cedric Myton shows up hard on Vegetarian Man. Staying true to his life style, his falsetto soars over a totally organic riddim fueled by Everald Gayle's trombone and Dalton's smooth guitar. Nuff raspect to the musicianmanship of Barmagrande; they put it out deh! Bernard Collin's ethereal Back From The Future is amazing. His seasoned vocals are just right for a riddim that is mystical and powerful; totally believable. Luciano is in demand; showing up on many different projects. He is proper here, sounding more and more like Dennis Brown. Everol Ray's trumpet and Donda's drumming show predominant here. Queen Ifrica is royalty as always. She glides freely over a superbly arranged track. The chorus (in French) will have you chanting along.

Freddie McGregor is pleasant as usual. On My Meditation, he smoothly croons about his thoughts of Reggae Musik. The chorus (in Italian) is enchanting and adds an almost hymn like presence. The underrated Franklyn Monyague shows pretty well on a Jazz tinged riddim that is strong on horns and keys. Nice to hear from Tony Rebel on Peace In Oneself. Always the conscious artist, he injects inergy into a lilting riddim that is rock solid. Max Romeo's Inner Potential is a classic! On a horn driven Rocker, he expertly dispels about the falsehoods of money and his decades of experience show here. On par with his 2003 album, "A Little Time For Jah". Too bad there's no Dub of this track. Free Tibet is a speech by Bob Andy in support of the people of Tibet. He then delves into the title track which is his best song since "Freely". It opens nicely and features Niyabinghi drumming from Brother Joe, Repeater Nivaldo and Alphonso Craig and killer guitar and keys. Bob's voice has only sweetened through the course of time and this track is a real gem.

To get all of these artists and engineers together for a project is no small feat! "Barmagrande Presents Liberta" is worth the admission price. The band itself are fully accomplished and this set will make them established! A very international affair with Roots intellect. Go out and get this one - you're in for a treat. Go deh!