Studio One Ironsides Soul Jazz****
As Detroit’s Motown was for soul, Kingston’s Studio One was a hit factory that provided reggae with its leading edge. In fact, Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd was recording and releasing so much music at his Brentford Road HQ that he invented a couple of label names to ensure Studio One wasn’t dominating the market. (Berry Gordy was also a man for labels, with Rare Earth, Mel-o-dy and Gordy shipping out his releases.) What you’ll find on this retrospective are heavyweight examples of dub, ska, roots, dub and dancehall dons at the height of their powers. Marcia Griffiths’ Mark My Word, The Gladiators’ Bongo Red and Prince Jazzbo’s Natty Ting a Ling, a superb redo of the Heptones’ tune, are the ones to remind you of Dodd’s dash and derring-do.
Download:Marcia Griffiths, Mark My Word; The Gladiators, Bongo Red; Prince Jazzbo, Natty Ting a Ling