Various: Studio One Rocksteady Vol 2 – deep into the soul of reggae

Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 16:12


Studio One Rocksteady Vol 2


Soul Jazz


There’s a line in Steve Barrow’s sleevenotes, the ones accompanying this latest deep dive into the Studio One archive, about the influence of US soul music on what was stirring in Kingston and elsewhere in the late 1960s and 1970s. It’s one worth mulling on: reggae’s rich roots go back to the upcountry sound of mento and beyond, yet the influence of the soulful bucks of young America on Jamaican music-makers found its way into some wonderful tracks. On this compilation, the sweet vocals on tracks from people such as John Holt (Strange Things is an album highlight), Delroy Wilson (Run Run sounds like a strange groove beamed in from downtown Detroit), Alton Ellis, The Actions and many more are a reminder of rocksteady’s melodic and harmonic attractions. It’s also a noteworthy signpost of what was going on as Jamaican music prepared for its next big step.