Various artists album review
Make It Reggae ~
Bunjo Music Productions Compilation #2
Bunjo Music
February 19, 2005

Tracking list

  1. Ernest Wilson with the Basement Eaters Band - Make It Reggae
  2. Jo-Jo Bennett with The Fugitives - Cantelope Rock
  3. Owen Gray with Mudie's All-Stars - Don't Play Your Rock & Roll
  4. Jo-Jo Bennett - My Mom
  5. Everton "Pablo" Paul - Victim Of Babylon
  6. Everton "Pablo" Paul - Red Man's Land
  7. Ernest Wilson with Jo-Jo Bennett & The Fugitives - If You Don't Know Me
  8. Jakki James with Jo-Jo Bennett & The Fugitives - Wanna Come Back
  9. Jakki James with Jo-Jo Bennett & The Fugitives - Just Another Day
  10. Ernie Smith with The Roots Revival Band - Top Ranking
  11. Ernie Smith with The Roots Revival Band - Who Am I
  12. Earl Heedray Jo-Jo Bennett & The Fugitives - Sel-lah
  13. Earl Heedray Jo-Jo Bennett & The Fugitives - Our Day Will Come
  14. Barry Malcolm with The Sattalites Band - You Don't Know
  15. Jo-Jo Bennett with The Sattalites Band - Lively Ivy
  16. Ernest Wilson with Jo-Jo Bennett - Happy Song
  17. Ernest Wilson with Jo-Jo Bennett - Big Pay Day
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 3/4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 2/3

Bunjo Music has been founded in 1979 by Joseph "Jo-Jo" Bennett, after he returned to Canada from a hiatus in his homeland Jamaica. Jo-Jo Bennett officially began his musical career at the age of 10 when he enrolled at Alpha Boys School in Kingston, Jamaica to begin formal studies in Jazz and the Classics. He began playing the drums but made a voluntary switch soon after to playing the trumpet. With Byron Lee & The Dragonnaires he recorded several albums before choosing to stay in Canada after the group's impressive show at Expo 67. In the seventies and eighties Bennett was involved in many musical ventures in Canada (Toronto) and was the prime mover behind the establishment of the first (and only) Black controlled music school. At this time instructions in the Reggae music genre was introduced under his tutelage. In 1970, while being back in Jamaica, Bennett released his first and only album "Groovey Joe", while performing live and doing studio work for numerous record companies. He had several hits while at home, his most memorable "Leaving Rome".
This new compilation cd from Bunjo Music, featuring Jo-Jo Bennett as musician, producer and co-producer, gathers tracks from 1967 (Jo-Jo Bennett with The Fugitives' "Cantalope Rock") up to 2002 (the two Jakki James tracks). The album opener "Make It Reggae" and the track that rounds off this set, "Big Pay Day" are funky reggae soul recordings with Ernest Wilson delivering nice renditions of these two songs written by Soul legend James Brown. These two tracks from respectively 1971 and 1974, are prime examples of the popular demand for covers of the soul, funk and disco tunes heard at dances and on the radio in the first half of the seventies. In between we're treated to a variety of sounds and moods like for example Jo-Jo Bennett with The Fugitives' excellent version of Herbie Hancock's "Cantelope Rock", Jo-Jo Bennett's wonderful "My Mom" from 1973, Jakki James impressive "Just Another Day" (a track taken from her 2002 album "Power Of One"), and the 1978 released "Who Am I" by Ernie Smith with The Roots Revival Band.
In all, a decent albeit somewhat unusual collection of tunes that definitely has its moments to enjoy.

Teacher & Mr. T.