Joe Frazier Riddim
August 21, 2016
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
In 1997 the esteemed Bobby 'Digital' Dixon produced a couple of tunes, including Sizzla's collaboration with Capleton called "Babylon A Use Dem Brain", on a relicked version of Studio One's classic "He Prayed" riddim, known from Burning Spear's brooding, introspective single from 1971. Although Burning Spear's absolute, haunting scorcher originated the riddim, it then became better known as "Joe Frazier".
It actually was Big Youth who, as a celebration of The Sunshine Showdown when George Foreman fought Joe Frazier in Kingston's National Stadium in January 1973, recorded two separate Joe Gibbs 7" releases, "The Big Fight" and "Foreman vs. Frazier", across a remake of the Studio One riddim and placed it firmly in the pantheon of all time classics. Coxsone Dodd was quick to respond with his update where Burning Spear's vocals are stripped to the minimum and the riddim is allowed to stand proud. Naturally enough he called it "Joe Frazier" and that's how it's known ever since.
45 years after Burning Spear recorded "He Prayed" for Mr Dodd and nearly 20 years after Bobby Digital first touched the riddim, it's the latter's son Giark, carrying on his father's strong legacy since about 2009, who has produced a wicked old-skool styled version of the "Joe Frazier". The big, dubwise "Phenomenon" by the extremely talented Kabaka Pyramid attracted notable attention when it was released in the summer of 2015 and now the tune reappears as the opening track of this highly enjoyable 12-track juggling set. Lutan Fyah comes up with the 'obligatory herbalist tune', while Richie Spice does the same with "Highest". Unlike Lutan Fyah's solid "Plant The Herbs", the Richie Spice effort fails to make a decent impression. Best of the rest are Cocoa Tea's lovers piece "Come On Over", the praising "Where Would I Be" by Anthony Cruz, showing that this fine singer is equally at home with cultural as well as lovers music, Jah Mali's "Mi Rate You", Javada's "A Wah Do Dem" and the excellent "I Walk With Love" by Junior Cat, who delivers his lyrics in a way reminiscent of veteran deejays like Brigadier Jerry.
The inclusion of some real good efforts, and the rest being at least some kind of decent, makes this juggling project worth checking out.