Check The Winner: The Original Pantomine Instrumental Collection 1972-74
CD / LP
February 5, 2016
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Lead Instruments : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
"Check The Winner: The Original Pantomine Instrumental Collection 1972-74" is the third and last reissue of a trio of superb compilations, which feature mostly very hard to find 45s (at their initial time of issue) that were produced by the one they rightly called The Rhythm Master, Glenmore Lloyd Brown aka Glen Brown. The latter began his career in the 1960s as vocalist with Sonny Bradshaw's jazz group, doing shows on the North Coast hotel circuit. Subsequently he recorded duets with Hopeton Lewis ("Girl You're Cold" and "Skinny Leg Girl"), Lloyd Robinson ("Rudies Give Up", "Feel Good Now", "Red Bum Ball" and "Too Late") and Dave Barker ("Love Got Me", "Show Me The Way" and "Wake Up To Reality").
At the beginning of the 1970s Glen Brown produced and released records on the Shalimar imprint in partnership with businessman M.G. Mahtani, before he set up his own Pantomine and Dwyer labels in 1972. Due to low funds, much of his output was issued in limited pressings of very small number. Besides that he would take all of his material to his neigbour King Tubby whom he asked to mix 'five or six' styles of his riddims. Glen Brown had barely a handful of hits in Jamaica, but the scarcity of his discs ensured that he became a cult figure.
This set collects 18 instrumentals and features the following riddims : "Dirty Harry" ("Dirty Harry", The Winner", Determination Skank" and "Sunshine Showdown"), "Merry Up" ("Merry Up", "Sgt. Crackers" and "More Music"), "Pantomine Rock" ("Pantomine Rock" and "2 Wedden Skank"), "The Crossroads" ("Glen Brown At The Crossroads", "Mitchville Rock" and "Mr. Ball Head Aitken"), "Father's Call" ("Scatter-Light Rock" and "School Call"), "High Holborne Street" ("High Holborne Street"), "Slaving" ("No More Slavery"), "Get Up"/"Tubbys At The Control" ("Get Up") and "Crisp As A Ball" ("Crisp As A Ball").
"Dirty Harry", with its unyielding beat, awesome bassline, staccato guitar riff and catchy organ, has remained the most successful and best-known Glen Brown produced riddim since its release in 1972. The sterling horns workout from saxophonists Tommy McCook and Richard Hall turns the riddim - actually produced for "Realize" by Glen Brown & Richard McDonald of the Chosen Few - into an outstanding instrumental piece. A true immortal classic!!! The epic "Determination Skank" is a next great cut on the riddim and features even more horns as Tommy McCook & Richard Hall are joined by Bobby Ellis on trumpet and Vin Gordon aka Don Drummond Jr on trombone. No horns, but Glen Brown blowing the melodica on the nice sounding "Sunshine Showdown", while "The Winner" (featuring some hilarious comments in Jamaican patois to the George Foreman vs Joe Frazier boxing match) is a stripped down to the bone version of the "Dirty Harry" riddim.
Although the "Dirty Harry" probably is the most ear-catching riddim of this album, there's much more to fulljoy. Take for example the "Merry Up" riddim, a sparse backdrop with a bouncing bass, a bit of trombone and sax and Joe White's melodica play on the track that gave the riddim its name. About 55 seconds after the tune started it suddenly stops and before it restarts you hear Glen Brown saying, "Hold it Mr T, this daughter can't keep up to this riddim. Aks me no question, I tell you no lie. Aks me no question, I play music." The other cut, "Sgt. Crackers", isn't a straight-forward instrumental piece as it features spoken words. However, it's Tommy McCook & Ron Wilson's "More Music", dominated by the sax and trombone of these top hornsmen, that makes the best impression. Also of interest are the two efforts on the "Pantomine Rock" riddim, actually a well done reggae rendition of Isaac Hayes' soul jam "Do Your Thing" from 1971. Of course the solid "Pantomine Rock" with its weird guitar picking sound is present here, but it's the massive "2 Wedden Skank", featuring an opening part done by Prince Hammer and Glen Brown's melodica, that deserves full attention. "No More Slavery", the straightforward melodica version of the immortal "Slaving" riddim (known from Lloyd Parks' early roots reggae killer of the same name), is one of the highlights of this album, and so are "Glen Brown At The Crossroads" and the awesome "Mitchville Rock" with its wicked dub elements, both on "The Crossroads" riddim.
Not to be missed!! Simply needs to be part of any Reggae collection!!