Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Derrick Harriott ~ Rocksteady Party
Various
Trojan Records
CD
February 1, 2006

Track list
  1. Walk The Streets (aka You Might As Well Forget Him) - Derrick Harriott
  2. Home, Home, Home - Derrick Harriott
  3. Step Softly - Bobby Ellis & The Desmond Miles Seven
  4. Leaving On The Train - Keith & Tex
  5. Little A Little Finger - The Apostles (aka Kingstonians)
  6. Now We Know (vocal version) - Derrick Harriott with Bobby Ellis & The Desmond Miles Seven
  7. Keep On Dancing (Sock It To Me) - Derrick Harriott
  8. The Loser - Derrick Harriott
  9. You Caught Me - Lyn Taitt & The Desmond Miles Seven
  10. Tonight - Keith & Tex
  11. Out Of My Mind (aka Get You Off My Mind) - David Anthony
  12. That Girl - Lloyd & Glen
  13. The Emperor - Bobby Ellis & The Desmond Miles Seven
  14. You Got Me Going - Lloyd Robinson & Glen Brown
  15. Solomon - Derrick Harriott
  16. Stop That Train - Keith Rowe & Tex Dixon
  17. A Long Story - Rudy Mills
  18. Now We Know (instrumental version) - Bobby Ellis & The Desmond Miles Seven
  19. Shuntin' - Bobby Ellis & The Desmond Miles Seven
  20. Feeling Peckish - Bobby Ellis & The Crystalites
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
This album will delight those of you who were pleased by the Clancy Eccles re-issue from Trojan a few months back.

"Home Home Home" is a spiritual blues exploration, centred around a mantra like chant. "Step Softly" opens with a piano line and mournful horns melody reminiscent of early Fania All Stars workouts, driven by a brittle snare offsetting the bass undertow and weaving horns structures. An Archie Shepp style solo further focuses this strict composition, honing it into a work of beauty and imagination.

"Now We Know" opens with a classic line, "I am electric don't touch me" and the tautness and threat of the tune lives up to its dangerous promise -- with a lazy rim shot and snare crack fleshed out by a boastful horns section, this is reminiscent of Wilson Pickett's "99 And Half Just Won't Do."

"That Girl" opens with a piano hook reminiscent of Eddie Palmieri's work for Cal Tjader whilst the vocal has overtones of War's "Why Can't We Be Friends?"

This is a worthy selection for those of you into Ska, Rocksteady -- but it should also prove compelling listening for those of you into soul and JB's funk, with some of the snare work coming over disciplined and hard like the Marva Whitney/Fred Wesley tune "Prove My Love To You".

So -- If in 2006 you find yourself getting increasingly bored of a dour, limited diet of minor chord roots, dull, conservative modern steppers tunes and recycled one drop hypes, this reissue is a timely reminder of more soulful upbeat trends within reggae -- This is a point not lost on the sleevenotes' author Ian McCann who pertinently writes: "So, reggae critics: spare a thought for the virtues of soulfullness, melody and emotion. Realise that sophistication and lightness is not alien to music that moves and grooves and that it is clear that crystal doesn't have to contain lead. Derek Harriott should be in anyone's roll call when it comes to Jamaican music. You're hearing proof of it in this CD." (Ian McCann, Trojan sleeve notes, Feb 2006).

Couldn't have put it better myself -- This is a satisfying project, from the diversity of musical styles showcased, to Ian McCann's spontaneous, spirited, and occasionally metaphoric - heuristic sleeve notes, which are preferable to the apparently dominant current trend for dry and unimaginative biographical hagiographies typically used these days by the re-issues labels.