King Jammy's: Selector's Choice, Vol. 4 [Bonus CD]

by: King Jammy

This is the final installment in the VP label's massive retrospective of the early work of producer Lloyd "King Jammy" James, and it features some of his strongest rhythms along with a generous helping of inspired performances by his favored singers and chatters. The program opens with a three-way combination track by Cocoa Tea, Home T, and Shabba Ranks on the "Who She Love" rhythm, a backing track that also forms the foundation for Tiger's brilliantly unhinged "Boombastic." Later, former Paragons leader John Holt delivers a reggae adaptation of the 1960s folk-pop classic "If I Were a Carpenter," an unusually complex rhythm that Frankie Paul also uses expertly for his own "Kissing in the Moonlight." The young Shabba Ranks is also in top form with "Live Blanket," on which he turns the "Natty Dread" rhythm to his own rather slack ends -- though he's not nearly as slack on this one as on "Needle Eye Pum Pum" and "Love Punaany Bad," both of which are here as well and remain monuments of early dancehall slackness, for better or for worse. Overall, this final volume easily matches the high standard set by the previous three. ~ Rick Anderson

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