Jamaica To Toronto: Soul, Funk & Reggae 1967-1974
Light In The Attic Records
August 16, 2006

Track list
  1. Jo-Jo And The Fugitives - Fugitive Song
  2. Eddie Spencer - If This Is Love (Id Rather Be Lonely)
  3. Jo-Jo And The Fugitives - Chips-Chicken-Banana Split
  4. Jackie Mittoo - Grand Funk
  5. Llloyd Delpratt - Together
  6. Cougars - I Wish It Would Rain
  7. Johnnie Osbourne - African Wake
  8. Ram - Love Is The Answer
  9. Bob And Wisdom - I Believe In Music
  10. The Sheiks - Eternal Love
  11. Wayne Mcghie & The Sounds Of Joy - Fire (She Need Water)
  12. Cougars - Right On
  13. Eddie Spencer - You're So Good To Me Baby
  14. The Hitch-Hikers feat. The Mighty Pope - Mr. Fortune
  15. Noel Ellis - Memories
  16. Wayne McGhie - Here We Go Again
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 3 Sleeve : 3
This is an interesting project compiling some little publicised rare groove roots soul funk tunes, released out of Canada in the 60's and 70's.

That Canada had its own (albeit minor) reggae vinyl output by some major JA talents is a little known and rarely commented on fact -- Indeed, Willie Williams produced some of his hardest, most insightful tunes whilst in Canada. Check out Blood and Fire's commendable "Messenger Man" album, some of which was laid down at Toronto's Summer Sound Studio.

This album is a fusion of a sometimes curious hybrid of funk, (Think Chariman of the Board's "Skin I'm In" and Graham Central Station's "Release Yourself") and Studio One styles, and there is even a dash of influence from psychedelic garage heavy rockers like Grand Funk Railroad.

There is also a discernible Gospel and Binghi influence.

The album doesn't always work, due to occasionally rushed, poor lyrics, and sometime poor sound quality -- but it has its fair share of gut busting garage funk bass lines to redeem it, as well as some intriguing Coxsonne style mixes.

This one looks likely to appeal to fans of the excellent Gold Mine Soul Supply label who were responsible for the frankly unmissable, yet little publicised "Sound Of Funk" series -- In fact, the "Sound Of Funk" series was arguably far better than the fashionable Soul Jazz label's compilations, yet unfairly, hardly anyone picked up on its release.

It looks like this label, Light In The Attic Records, are going to concentrate on digging up rare groove funk and obscure reggae sides. It's going to be intriguing to see what they come up with next, so watch this space.

For the moment, this flawed, but worthy album is certainly worth checking out.