Various artists album review
Tree Of Satta Vol. 1
Various (Abyssinians & Friends)
Blood and Fire-Munich
March 27 - 2004

Tracking list

  1. The Abyssinians - Satta Massa Gana
  2. Bongo Herman - Thunderstorm
  3. The Abyssinians - Mabrak
  4. Big Youth - I Pray Thee
  5. Lloyd Charmers - Charming Version
  6. Prince Far I - Wisdom
  7. Bernard Collins - Satta Me No Born Yah
  8. Dillinger - I Saw Esau
  9. Tommy McCook - Mandela
  10. Bernard Collins - Satta Don
  11. U-Roy - Blessed
  12. Luciano - Man Of Jah Order
  13. Natural Black - It's A Joy
  14. Yami Bolo - Conspiracy
  15. Capleton - Dislocate
  16. Tony Tuff - How Long
  17. Ernest Ranglin - Ranglin Satta
  18. Jah Mali - Cornerstone
  19. Anthony B - Good And Bad
  20. Dean Fraser - Dahina Dimps
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Since the release of the first album "If Deejay Was Your Trade" in 1994 UK-based Blood & Fire Records have established themselves a name as one of the best re-issue labels around. The Blood and Fire Crew rightfully deserves its fame as it pleases reggae fans all over the world with releases of mainly hard-to-get gems from the past presented with the best sound quality possible, excellent artwork and great sleeve notes.
If any one song can lay claim to the title "definitive reggae anthem", then it is "Satta Massa Gana" which was recorded at Studio One in 1969. This Abyssiniansí self-financed debut single, released on their own Clinch label, became an instant reggae classic, quickly establishing itself as a sound system standard and eventually providing the riddim track for over 400 recordings and still capable of hitting again at any time. The new Blood and Fire release "The Tree Of Satta Vol. 1" shines the light on this classic riddim featuring Leroy Sibbles on itís hugely influential bass line, the In Crowdís Fil Callender on drums and Deadly Headley and Vin Gordonís distinctive sax and trombone refrain. Featured are ten original versions of "Satta" - including the original vocal and version side - alongside ten excellent new versions, some of these are to be released on strictly limited 45ís. The album opens with the original vocal trio classic, the one they recorded at Studio One in 1969. What follows is an imposing tidal wave of fantastic music spiced with a bagga roots and culture. The artists lining up for this riddim deliver their finest efforts. No standout cuts here... all songs have nuff quality to please any fan of good reggae music. Our favourite tracks here are Mabrak, a song conceived as a riposte to the 'versioning' of the Satta Massa Gana riddim in the seventies. Next there is a moving solo version of the song -Satta Me No Born Yah- by Bernard Collins, with reworked lyrics and voiced at King Tubby's. The deejay version by Dillinger is equally impressive. It's almost impossible to overlook Luciano, the original Messenjah who licks the riddim in fine style with Man Of Jah Order. Bobo Dread deejay Capleton versioned the riddim once before for Bobby Digital ("Ragga Road") His version here -Dislocate- is definitely worthwhile spinning as well.
To quote the liner notes : "This tree has the deepest roots, from then till now!" Jah Rastafari !!

Teacher & Mr. T.