USA

"The Original Recordings of Robert Ward with the Ohio Untouchables and Solo 1961-1967"

'This collection of Robert Ward solo and Ohio Untouchables recordings from 1961-1967 is absolutely essential for anyone who is a fan of Detroit soul from the early '60's. Raw and driving (not Motown), this package has 19 tracks of Robert Ward with his Magnatone guitar amp plugged in and roaring away. These are the original LuPine and Groovesville recordings, and they have never been surpassed. Essential listening.'

'These are the first magnificent 1960s waxings of guitarist Robert Ward & the Ohio Untouchables for the tiny LuPine, Thelma, and Groove City logos; full of fiery soul, watery, vibrato-enhanced axe, and sinuous rhythms. Ward's piercing vocals on "I'm Tired," "Your Love Is Amazing," and "Fear No Evil" are mesmerizing. Also aboard are four classic cuts by the Wilson Pickett-led Falcons from 1962 with the Untouchables in support (the gospel-soaked "I Found a Love" was a legit smash, while Ward sears the strings on their "Let's Kiss and Make Up").' -AllMusic Review by Bill Dahl

'Robert Ward, who never really had a hit record under his own name was one of the greatest unheralded R&B/soul guitarist and singers of the sixties. He issued many fine sides on the LuPine, Thelma (run by Berry Gordy’s sister) and Groove City labels both under his own name and as leader of the Ohio Untouchables who, after Ward’s departure would later morph into the 70’s funk superstars/superstuds the Ohio Players. He also worked with the great Detroit vocal group the Falcons, an early super group of sorts led by a young Wilson Pickett along with at various times Sir Mack Rice (who wrote “Mustang Sally”), Eddie “Knock On Wood” Floyd, and Joe Stubbs (brother of the Four Tops’ Levi Stubbs) who sang lead on their biggest hit You’re So Fine).

Ward was best known for the “watery”, tremolo laden guitar sound produced by his Magnatone amp, Lonnie Mack was his most famous disciple, adapting Ward’s sound on his early hits on the Fraternity label– Wham, Memphis, Omaha, et al.

Robert Ward popped out of the womb on October 15 of 1938 in the country side near Luthersville, Georgia to sharecropping parents. He sang in the church, learned guitar from his mother and listened to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Dixie Hummingbirds and post war blues singers like John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1957 and upon discharge formed the Brassettes in LaGrange, Georgia eventually finding steady work as albino rocker Piano Red’s backing band. In 1960 he relocated to Dayton, Ohio in search of work where he put together the Ohio Untouchables. They were discovered by Detroit record producer Robert West who signed them to LuPine and also used them to back up the Falcons on some incredible 45’s including their timeless and heart wrenching hit I Found A Love (perhaps the closest Wilson Pickett ever came to matching the shouts of his idol Julius Cheeks of the Sensational Nightingales) and other sides including this one: Let’s Kiss And Make Up on which Ward solos prominently.

Amongst the Ohio Untouchables’ best sides are some monster guitar instrumentals like Uptown, Workout, and Hot Stuff as well as Robert Ward’s gospel tinged vocal efforts like Your Love Is Amazing, Fear No Evil, I’m Tired, and The Swim. Finer sides you shall not hear, not in this world, not in this life. His complete 1961-67 discography can be had on the Relic CD Robert Ward- Hot Stuff.

The aforementioned sides failed to sell and Ward ended up playing on many sessions for Motown including hits like the Undisputed Truth’s paranoid classic Smiling Faces (Tell Lies) and the Temptations uber-smash Papa Was A Rolling Stone. In 1977 Ward’s first wife died of a cerebral hemorrhage leaving him with six children. He moved back to Georgia working outside of music in a lumber mill and in small time crime, eventually landing in the poky (where he played in a prison band with Major Lance). He was rediscovered in the early 1990’s by New Orleans’ Black Top records owner Hammond Scott who had been searching for him for several years. Scott recorded Ward on the 1990 LP Fear No Evil. I had several friends working at Black Top at the time and I remember hearing the original undubbed tapes of that LP and they were fantastic, Ward playing and singing magnificently. Unfortunately, Scott took the tapes and added all sorts of awful 90’s touches like ugly digital reverb and lame horn charts. Ward’s talent overcomes Scott’s shortcomings as a producer on Fear No Evil but his next Black Top record Rhythm of the People (1993) wasn’t very good (although if you want it, try here), although the Black Top discs did help him to find work and a small amount of money gigging including a European tour, the discs however do not do his talent justice. I find Black Top one of the most offensive labels of the 90’s blues revival in that they could make lame records with some of the finest artists of all time (Snooks Eaglin being another who comes to mind) by attempting to make their discs 90’s radio friendly, as if Robert Ward’s record was going to get airplay next to Madonna. Had Scott issued the undubbed session tapes in their raw form he would probably have sold a lot more records, as the non-production success of Fat Possum records later in that decade would prove, the audience for old blues and R&B likes it because it is raw, and attempting to market the old masters in competition with the MTV made celeb-u-tards was simply foolish both artistically and commercially. This of course is one of the reasons Black Top no longer exists, and nobody misses it. It doesn’t matter now, least of all to Mr. Ward who led a hard life, and left some beautiful sounds. He must be in a better place now. And, hey, dig that leopard print pick guard on his Jazz Master! Hot stuff indeed.' -thehoundnyc.com

Robert Ward

'Soul guitarist whose comeback album brought him acclaim'
by Garth Cartwright

The tremolo guitar of the US musician Robert Ward, who has died aged 70 after several years of ill health, stands among the most distinctive instrumental sounds of 1960s soul music. In 1990, having abandoned music completely, he staged a comeback that won him considerable international acclaim.

Ward was born in rural Georgia. At the age of 10 he began teaching himself the guitar, emulating what he heard on 78s of Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Muddy Waters. After serving in the military, Ward formed his first band, the Brassettes, in Florida in 1959. They opened for James Brown and other rising stars, but saw little financial return for their efforts, so Ward sold his guitar and left for Dayton, Ohio, to live with his aunt.

There he acquired a Fender Telecaster guitar and Magnatone amplifier, and developed the distinctive vibrato-soaked sound that became his trademark. His new band, the Ohio Untouchables, developed a strong regional following, and, signed by Detroit producer Robert West to his LuPine label in 1962, they recorded several striking 45s.

West then paired the Untouchables with the gospel quartet the Falcons on I Found a Love, which was a huge US R&B hit, launching Falcons vocalist Wilson Pickett while gaining Ward's guitar-playing wide attention. Pickett left the Falcons for his solo soul singing career, but initially Ward continued to work with him while leading the Ohio Untouchables. In 1965 Ward left the Untouchables, who later developed into the 1970s funk band, the Ohio Players.

Ward recorded solo singles for tiny Detroit labels - none were hits, but they developed his reputation as an able and powerful guitarist. By 1970 he was earning steady wages as a Motown session guitarist, backing the Temptations and the Undisputed Truth.

Motown shifted its base to Los Angeles in 1973 and, with disco becoming the most popular black American music, Ward found himself a man out of time. In 1977 his wife and his mother died, sending him into a spiral of self-destructive behaviour that ended with a year's imprisonment. Once he was released, Ward remarried and did not consider returning to music. Rumours circulated that he was dead, and during the 1980s Hammond Scott, the owner of independent record label Black Top, spent two years searching fruitlessly for him.

In 1990 Ward wandered into Fretware Guitars in Dayton. Store owner Dave Hussong was familiar with Ward's playing and aware of Scott's search.

Scott recalled, "suddenly, in the summer of 1990, I was awakened by an unfamiliar voice in the very early morning hours. I was mildly annoyed until the voice on the other end said, 'this is Robert Ward and I hear you've been looking for me'. Needless to say, I popped straight up in bed with delight."

Ward's 1990 debut album Fear No Evil immediately won critical acclaim. His following Black Top albums, Rhythm of the People (1993) and Black Bottom (1995), failed to match his debut, yet he proved a popular live performer. The CD compilation Hot Stuff (1995) gathered all Ward's Ohio Untouchable and Falcons recordings. In 2000 the Chicago blues label Delmark Records issued Ward's New Role Soul to very positive reviews. Ward regularly performed in Britain in the 1990s, often with backing vocals from his second wife, Roberta.

In 2001 he suffered a stroke, and kidney failure led to his retirement to rural Georgia. He is survived by Roberta, his children, among them, the drummer Robert Ward Jr, and 68 grandchildren.

• Robert Ward, soul and blues guitarist, born 15 October 1938; died 25 December 2008

Robert Ward: a guitar legend back from obscurity
By David Whiteis | October 03, 1991

"Rediscoveries" are rare in blues and R & B these days. About the closest thing recently was the rehabilitation of Memphis soul legend James Carr, the man who recorded the original "Dark End of the Street" in 1966 and seemed marked for stardom until mental illness derailed him a few years later. After decades of torment this frail, elderly-looking man in his late 40s received a hero's welcome this year from European fans who still revere southern soul artists as much as they do Chicago bluesmen.

Then there's veteran saxophonist Noble "Thin Man" Watts, whose recent work on King Snake and Alligator has been somewhat overenthusiastically promoted as the return of another living legend. But strictly speaking, neither Watts nor Carr was a "rediscovery" in the usual sense: monumental artists ignored by popular culture and abandoned by the recording industry, then brought back to electrify new generations.

Now guitarist Robert Ward, known primarily for a handful of obscure sides from the early 60s and for his 70s-era session work at Motown, has reemerged on the Black Top label. In Ward we may at last have the genuine article: he's a versatile guitarist with a distinctive sound who lent his imaginative stylings to several pop revolutions only to suddenly disappear into total obscurity. Born in Georgia, Ward spent his childhood absorbing gospel, blues, and early rock and roll and cut a few sides in Atlanta with a local group called the Brassettes before moving to southern Ohio. About 1960 he formed his own band, the Ohio Untouchables, and started to develop a substantial local reputation. The Untouchables were eventually discovered by budding record impresario Berry Gordy.

Ward and the Untouchables signed a contract with Gordy and went on to accompany a gospel-based Detroit group called the Falcons, featuring vocalist Wilson Pickett, on the original recording of "I Found a Love" on Lu Pine in 1962. That song, seminal in the development of modern soul music, was based on a tune Ward claims as his own, "Forgive Me Darling," which had been a regional hit for the Untouchables.

Ward left the Untouchables soon after in a dispute over finances. The band persevered without him through the next decade, finally winning fame and fortune in the 70s as the Ohio Players. Ward, meanwhile, continued touring and doing session work with Pickett and various others, eventually joining Gordy's stable of studio musicians at Motown.

Ward proved as adept at Motown's trailblazing pop-oriented R & B as he'd been with the raw, gospel-drenched emotionalism of the Untouchables and the Falcons. He worked extensively in the studio and toured in the early 70s with both the Temptations and Undisputed Truth. His tenure at Motown lasted until the middle of the decade. Then his wife died and he returned to Georgia to raise his children and maintain the family farm.

If he had done nothing more than write the prototype for "I Found a Love," his place in R & B history would have been secure. But as collectors and historians have begun to delve deeper into the roots of R & B, it has become obvious that Ward's haunting, vibrato-laden chording and passionate leads on those early sides were years ahead of their time.

Archivists and record producers tried to seek him out, but he seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. Soon the usual rumors--"he's retired to the church," "he's in jail," "he's dead"--began to circulate. The ghostly tremolo that had characterized Ward's style heightened his legend as a mysterious figure disappeared into darkness.

About two years ago Ward decided it was time to step out again. The story goes that he simply called Black Top producer Hammond Scott from out of nowhere (probably from Dry Branch, Georgia, where he makes his home) and said, "I hear you've been looking for me." Scott quickly arranged a recording session in New Orleans. The resulting LP, Fear No Evil, has received widespread acclaim as a successful melding of vintage R & B passion and contemporary flash. On it Ward reprises a few of his old trademark numbers with uncanny accuracy, and he adapts himself effortlessly to the New Orleans funkiness provided by the horns and rhythm section.

Ward is obviously exhilarated about his revitalized career, but he's also been handed a heavy burden. The advance publicity on him has been mercilessly extravagant; to read the press releases, he's a risen-from-the-ashes combination of Robert Johnson, Otis Redding, and Jimi Hendrix. No one can live up to standards like that; if Ward is anything less than superhuman, he may be considered a failure.

That would be a shame, because his musical abilities are undiminished. His legendary melodic and harmonic eccentricities still shine, and if allowed to regain his stride he may again become a dominant force on the blues scene. I say "blues scene" because there's precious little space in contemporary mainstream R & B for an artist as individualistic as Ward. His blues aren't the lush, horn-filled variety they play at nightclubs like East of the Ryan, but a tough, primal-sounding blend of Chicago and Memphis. His soul outings are heavy on vintage 60s- and 70s-style choppy funk, embellished a bit with electronics but perhaps too straight-ahead and melodic to capture the imagination of today's hip-hop-hardened young listeners.

Ward's recent appearance at FitzGerald's was a tantalizing glimpse at a major talent just beginning to reassert itself. He seemed somewhat tentative in his song selection and, at least at the beginning, in his playing. His band couldn't seem to decide whether to push him or let him call the shots, and they ended up doing neither.

But as the evening progressed, Ward became more assertive. He has a knack of inserting jazzy chords into his most basic patterns, creating an arresting fusion of sophistication and funk. He brings a harsh, bluesy edge to his soul stylings, and there's often a hint of tension in the air, as if he's straining at the song's harmonic boundaries, threatening to escape into dissonance.

That blues tinge becomes more pronounced when he takes a solo. He snakes up and down the fretboard, exploring the hidden nooks and crannies of the melody line, punctuating everything with wide-fingered chords. After all those years at Motown, Ward seems to think instinctively in terms of hooks--most of his solos at FitzGerald's were grounded by a phrase or pattern to which he regularly returned.

Ward can build an entire solo on chords, but they're not the fleet, swinging chords of a Wes Montgomery. His harmonic framework is often Eastern-sounding, with an exotic, exploratory urgency reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix; he combines good-natured soul minstrelsy with a tinge of ecstatic purple haze. As always, his fusion of down-home roots and pop stylings is effortless and seductive.

At FitzGerald's, Ward was strangely hesitant toward the beginning of the evening to dig into his own repertoire--he even avoided selections from his current LP until quite late in the show. That conservatism cramped his style a little, but even on standards his individuality came through. His rendition of Bill Withers's "Ain't No Sunshine" was so bluesy that I initially mistook it for Otis Rush's "All Your Love." A primitivism pulled the tune, covered by pop and jazz artists for so many years, back to street level.

It was on originals like the instrumental "Dry Spell," though, that Ward's gifts truly shone. He negotiated the quirky, quick-changing arrangement with ease, filling the spaces between his leads with chords and an eccentric lurching solo that made it sound as if Ward was tangled up in rhythmic and harmonic knots. But he returned to the beat just in time, those big chords pulling everything back like an anchor. Then without blinking he jumped off the rhythm again for another solo.

Through it all he maintained a low-key, take-care-of-business attitude that hinted at the musical craftsmanship lurking behind the playful audacity of his improvisations. Ward's solos, fleet and freely constructed as they were, were built entirely within the logic dictated by the chord changes. He sometimes scattered notes so tightly within a song's harmonic framework that they almost became chords--an effortless aural pointillism. Ward has a musical sense, however, that tells him when not to venture too far out. On "Fear No Evil," a straight-ahead soul shouter in the Ohio Untouchables tradition, he wrapped his leads tightly around the melody line, propelling everything as always with his strategic chording. He sometimes approached the "wall of sound" dominance of a Guitar Slim, but without the relentless overamplification. That tension between anarchy and direction that characterizes Ward's best playing was especially evident here.

Yet the very qualities that make Ward special--his unique ability to fuse styles and influences, to skirt the boundaries of chaos and then pull himself back, to combine his impeccably developed talent for accompaniment with the creativity of a leader--lent a curious directionlessness to his show. It wasn't just the stylistic jumps, but a sense that he is still feeling his way back, acclimating himself to a bandleader's role after years of being a sideman.

Part of the problem was pacing. Rather than letting the band warm up, Ward played from the start. He'd get the room jumping with his own fiery explorations, then sit back and let bassist Bobby Rock run through a couple of contemporary blues standards. Rock ambled through the room at one point, singing Bobby Bland's "Members Only" without a microphone--virtually inaudible for most of the song.

Lulls like that aren't fatal at a low-key, neighborhood venue like FitzGerald's, but if Ward wants to make it back to the big time he deserves, he'll have to get a tighter grip on his show. He'd do well to go back to his experience with the Temptations, adopt their tightly choreographed professionalism, and infuse it with the down-home informality that makes his current performances so endearing. The rediscovery of Robert Ward is a major event in contemporary R & B; it remains to be seen whether he will do full justice to his legend and his talent.

1. Ohio Untouchables - I'm Tired 2:35
2. Ohio Untouchables - Forgive Me Darling 2:43
3. Ohio Untouchables - Up Town 2:16
4. Ohio Untouchables - Your Love Is Real 2:41
5. Ohio Untouchables - Something For Nothing 2:36
6. Ohio Untouchables - Touch Me Not 2:33
7. Robert Ward - I'm Gonna Cry A River 2:47
8. Ohio Untouchables - Workout 3:01
9. Ohio Untouchables - You Love Is Amazing 3:01
10. Ohio Untouchables - Hot Stuff 2:19
11. Benny "Coffee" McCain and The Ohio Untouchables - She's My Heart's Desire 2:39
12. Benny "Coffee" McCain and The Ohio Untouchables - What To Do 2:05
13. The Falcons With Wilson Pickett - Let's Kiss And Make Up 2:34
14. The Falcons With Wilson Pickett - Take This Love I've Got 2:15
15. The Falcons With Wilson Pickett - The Swim 2:31
16. The Falcons With Wilson Pickett - I Found A Love 2:59
17. Robert Ward - My Love Is Strictly Reserved For You 2:47
18. Robert Ward - Fear No Evil 3:04
19. Robert Ward - Deeper In Love 2:31

Notes
Incl. booklet

Brazil

'Sonzera desse musico e percussionista brasileiro. Participou tocando percussão pra muita gente boa, musicos famosos do Brasil.
É uma pena pessoas assim terem ficado um tanto apagados da musica popular brasileira.
Olha a produção desse album de 1977.. Só os feras estao aqui tipo : João Donato, Durval Ferreira, Ed Lincoln, Eriovaldo , Chico Batera etc...'
Fya burn  --Leo di Brito

brilliant funky samba

'Full of funky '70's keys sounds, great choppy, funky rhythm section work, and well arranged 'easy' sounding horn charts, plus the upfull vibe of Orlandivo's well written, soulfully sung songs. It's sunshine distilled, happy Samba influenced funk pop from the top drawer.

As well as the track 'Onde Anda O Meu Amor', which appears on numerous compilations of groovy Brasiliana, there are gems like opener 'Tudo Jóia', the hypnotic 'Gueri, Gueri', the super slinky rolling clavinet samba of 'Juazeiro' and the fabulous flutes of 'Disse Me Disse'.

This is a supreme slice of smiling Buddha joy, direct from Brazil, complete with (to a non-Portuguese speaker like me) typical silly Brazilian verbal cuteness. A completely uplifting and deeply joyfull listening experience, with not one track coming in at less than 8 out of 10, and many going off the scale altogether.' -Sebastian Palmer

'Composer, singer and percussionist Orlann Divo moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1946 where he started out as a promising percussionist in the band of Ed Lincoln. The 1960’s had been of great importance for the artistic development of Orlann Divo as he starts to release some of his solo works ‘Key of the Succes’ (1962) and ‘Samba in Parallel’ (1965). 

In 1977 he released this self-titled work on Copacobana records. The album mainly remains in the Bossa Nova realm, while at the time of the release the Bossa Nova era was almost at its end. More than a decade ago, this sound reached its peak in popularity, but by the late 70’s the Brasilian disco and rare groove/funk sound was taking over leaving little room for more ‘traditional’ sounding albums. Unfortunately the album gained little notice, but was revived 20 years later by diggers around the world. To many record collectors and Brazilian music lovers around the globe this remains a true classic from the vaults of Brasilian Bossa and downtempo Samba. 

Now 25 years after its original release Kindred Spirits presents the official reissue of the 1977 self-titled album ‘Orlandivo’. This beautiful bossa / downtempo samba like album contains the sought after tracks such as ‘Onde Anda O Meu Amor’ and ‘Tamanco No Samba’. Apart from Orlandivo, other artists such as João Donato and Azymuth’s drummer Ivan Conti also deliver a solid contribution to the tracks, making this obscure Brasilian classic a must have for Brasilian music lovers!'

1. Tudo Jóia 3:18
2. Um Abraço No Bengil 2:55
3. Gueri - Gueri 4:17
4. Tamanco No Samba 3:38
5. Juazeiro 2:55
6. Onde Anda O Meu Amor 3:44
7. Disse Me Disse 2:31
8. Palladium 2:31
9. Bolinha De Sabão 2:51
10. A Felicidade 4:21

Ghana

Classic highlife music from the Essiebons Music Archives (70’s Ghana)

KK's No.2 Band led by the charismatic A.K. Yeboah, has epitomised Ghanian Highlife music in it's entirety.

KK'S has now become a symbol of the versatality and innovative way in which the Ghanian musician can combine the richness of culture, instrumentation and lyrics to make music pleasing to both the young and old alike. They have made music transcend generations, and this is what makes them that undying group of brilliant musicians.

1. Otan Hunu 2:59
2. Se Ebe Wie 3:45
3. Otanfo Atan Me 3:01
4. Abena Dede 3:16
5. Ne Nyira Fir Woara 2:54
6. Medi Amia 3:24
7. Aware Mu Nsem 3:18
8. Suro Nipa 8:01
9. Mame Efua 6:04
10. Gyae Nkonta Buo 9:30
11. Heavy Mama 8:35
12. Tua Ma Wo Ho Nkom 5:28
13. Odo Yewu Sie 5:30
14. Metease Manya Hwee 8:32
15. Begyi Mani 4:34

Notes
K.K's No. 2 ‎– Heavy Mama

Label: Essiebons ‎– EBLS 6189
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Ghana
Released: 1979
Style: African, Highlife

A1 Heavy Mama
A2 Tua Na Woho Nkom
B1 Odo Ye Wu Fie
B2 Mete Ase Manya Ade

K.K's No. 2 ‎– Onipa Nye

Label: Essiebons ‎– EBLS 6190
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Ghana
Released: 1979
Style: Highlife, African

A1 Suro Onipa
A2 Maame Afua
B1 Gyae Nkontaa Buo
B2 Begye Mani

Jamaica

YES YES, The man Prince Far I come again. His music fills the hearth with strength and guides the I with love. A must for RastaFarI in all parts of the world. Voice of Thunder is strictly what this man speaks. -Safari

'A classic from Prince Far I – Voice Of Thunder couldn't be a more appropriate album title or moniker. Recorded at Channel One in 1981 with incredible analog dub production, it fully carries the grit, murk, heavy and heady soul of the 70s into the new decade –even if the sound is ultimately a bit different then the what he delivered in the 70s. That thunderous voice toasting over the rhythms is as incredible as ever – over the commanding bass of Professor Larry Silvera, tripped out drums & percussion by Jah Lloyd & Scully, occasional swirling keys by Steely, Tarzan and Tony Asher and the other great Channel One players.' -Dusty Groove

'Prince Far I aka the Voice Of Thunder got his start in the burgeoning Jamaican music industry as a sound system DJ (for Sir Mike The Musical Dragon), working security at Joe Gibbs’ stuido and in a similar roll at Coxsone Dodd's Studio One. As fate would have it, KingStitt, the regular DJ at Studio One, failed to turn up to voice a track and the up and commer convinced Coxsone to give him a try on the mic. The resulting cut launched the career of one of Reggae’s most famous toasters – though he liked to describe his style as achanter rather than the more popular term toaster. First releasing records using the moniker King Cry Cry, the same name he’d used working Sir Mike’s sound system, he soon changed his name to Prince Far I at the suggestion of producer Enos McLeod. On Voice Of Thunder, Prince Far I is supported by an extremely sparse yet heavy instrumental backing which perfectly compliments his growling voice. As is often the case with Prince Far I, much of the material is essentially Bible verse, Ten Commandments being a perfect example. The Voice Of Thunder full length also includes a tribute to the very recently deceased Bob Marley, and he even takes time to take UK skinheads to task for wearing polyster (forbidden to a real rastafarian). Long out of print on vinyl, this 1981 masterpiece from Prince Far I is back in effect thanks to Get On Down.' -Rough Trade

'Perhaps the aptest title yet for an album by the late, lamented Prince Far I, one of the most powerful reggae deejays ever recorded. This set finds him supported by an extremely spare, heavy instrumental backing, which perfectly complements his growling voice and the stern mood of his lyrics. Prince Far I didn't sing (or "chant," as he preferred) much about dancing or women; instead, he tended to set Bible verses to music and to admonish the youth to behave themselves. On this album he accomplishes the former with "Ten Commandments" and the latter with "Hold the Fort" and "Shall Not Dwell in Wickedness." Elsewhere he praises Bob Marley and makes fun of a skinhead for wearing polyester. Given a sound and mood that is even drier and sparer than usual for this artist, Voice of Thunder might not be the best introduction for newcomers. But fans will sit in awe.' -AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson

1. Ten Commandments 4:08
2. Tribute To Bob Marley 4:02
3. Hold The Fort 3:44
4. Every Time I Hear The Word 4:15
5. Head Of The Buccaneer 3:26
6. Shall Not Dwell In Wickedness 3:44
7. Give I Strength 4:45
8. Kingdom Of God 3:44
9. Coming In From The Rock 3:41
10. Skinhead 3:27

Notes
Incl. inlay

Jamaica

Pressure Sounds strikes again with this new Bim Sherman’s compilation of 7’’ recorded from 1974 to 1979 in Jamaica. Tribulation features 23 tracks originally released on singer and producer Bim Sherman’s own Scorpio, Sun Dew and Red Sea labels. 

A superb compilation from Pressure Sounds of the late and greatly underrated Bim Sherman. haunting melodies , tuff roots rockers, deep dubs and featuring Big joe, Jah Woosh, The Gladiators, Roots Radics, Soul Syndicate bands.

'Silky-voiced roots crooner Bim Sherman is best known for his ‘80s offerings with Adrian Sherwood’s On-U Sound, which endeared him to punk, new wave, and progressive dub fans. His buttery falsetto isn’t as recognizable to reggae aficionados outside the U.K., which is a shame. Pressure Sounds aims to correct this oversight with Tribulation, a 23-track collection of Sherman’s Jamaican recordings, which rightfully places Bim alongside Gregory Isaacs and Dennis Brown as a classic reggae stylist, equally competent at sufferers’ anthems and lovers’ rock. Stellar versions of “Love Forever,” “Ital West,” and “Golden Locks” are just some of the highlights on this contender for roots reissue of the year.'

'Bim Sherman was a one of the great unsung hero's of 70s roots music. From Westmoreland he moved to Kingston and managed to scrape money together to finance small runs of 45s that he wrote with his friend Bob West. Together they fashioned a series of 45s that were released on Sherman's own labels Scorpio, Sun Dew and Red Sea. These 45s were often remixed and re-voiced with different vocals when Sherman had the finance to do so.. What we have gathered on Tribulation is a stunning selection of his most sought after rare and exciting 45s. There have been other Sherman compilations but nothing we believe comes close to this set.'

'Bim Sherman is often associated with UK producer Adrian Sherwood and his On U Sound label. This is another chapter of his early Jamaican career that Pressure Sounds releases here. Including tracks as ‘Love Forever’ - followed by deejay Jah Woosh cut - , humanist ‘Golden Stool’, great ‘Trying’ also known as ‘Gibraltar rock’, powerfull ‘Weakheart Men’ re-recorded later as ‘My Whole World’, this roots set is a must have. Wheter it be ‘World Go Round’ followed by his magical version ‘Every Where You Go’ backed by heavy drum & bass or ‘My Woman’, each song featuring on Tribulation counts among best tunes of this singer passed away in 2000.'

Bim Sherman, Prince Far I, Prince Hammer
'Pressure Sounds' follow up to the experimental Native / Lee Perry obscurity Rockstone finds the label drawing for the more orthodox seventies roots reggae of the late Bim Sherman, a favourite of label owner and compiler Pete Holdsworth who knew him through the Adrian Sherwood connection and who pens the affectionate sleeve-notes. Emerging in the mid-seventies during what can now be considered as one of the music's golden ages, competing with roots reggae legends such as The Gladiators, Culture, Burning Spear, Bob Marley and many others as the music moved outernational, his light, airy voice, thought-provoking lyrics and durable grassroots rhythms ensured him a cult audience even if his records failed to sell in any quantity at the time. Tracks like Dispensation (re-issued here for the first time since its original release), Danger, Love Forever, Tribulation, Golden Stool, Just Can't Stand It, Golden Locks and Lego Natty Cale form a compelling catalogue. These are accompanied here by various original B side dubs and rare deejay versions, as well as both sides of the sought after Zion label 45 My Woman and the affecting and subtle Lovers Leap parts 1 & 2.' -Dub Vendor

'When Bim Sherman died of cancer in 2000, the reggae world lost one of its most distinctive voices. Not a smooth-voiced crooner like Cornel Campbell or Johnny Clarke, Sherman instead sang in a voice that ached with vulnerability and floated like a ragged gossamer scarf in the breeze (the fact that it occasionally floated only approximately around the intended pitch just added emotional depth to his interpretations). Those who have heard his recorded work have mostly come across it on compilations from the On-U Sound label, or have heard him as one of the featured vocalists with Singers & Players. This collection brings together recordings made early in his career, when he was writing songs with his friend Bob West and producing the sessions himself, releasing the songs as singles on his own label. The sound quality ranges from acceptable ("Love Forever") to quite good ("Tribulation"), and several of the songs will be familiar to On-U Sound fans -- "Ital West" is built on the "Danger" rhythm (an early version of "Danger" is included as well), "Love Forever" was covered by the New Age Steppers, and "Weak Heart Men" was later re-recorded several times by Sherman himself as "My Whole World." His later work would benefit from more consistently from expert production, but these early tracks show the singer working at the peak of his interpretive power.' -AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson

Bim Sherman – Tribulation: Down In Jamdown 1974 to 1979
by Professor Barnabas at Reggae Vibes | Feb 12, 2019

12th February is the earthday of the late great Bim Sherman, a reggae singer gifted with a haunting, ethereal voice, which made him a longtime favourite among serious reggae collectors. Here’s a review of a great Bim Sherman compilation album.

PURITY
“Punk, dub, avant garde jazz — Don’t forget, so many music forms were brought together out of that punk period. Reggae music just exploded in the late 70s. Big Youth, The Spear — it was incredible, all came forward at the time of punk… People could really feel something special was going on here, something fresh. As for Bim Sherman, I used to listen to him again and again and again. Tracks like “My Whole World”, “Love Forever” and “Revolution/World Of Dispensation”: I listened to the purity of that music all the time — the purity which was so evident in Bim Sherman’s voice.” (Tessa Pollitt, The Slits bass player describes the musical landscape at the end of the 70’s)

Bim Sherman — with a voice so pure, mournful and uplifting — touched something very deep in the psyche and imagination of listeners in late 70’s UK as the quote from Tessa Pollit shows.

CORE OF THE ALBUM
The new Pressure Sounds re release collection album offers a good insight into Bim’s best work. Much of the core of the album has been available elsewhere for many years, notably on Bim’s own Century label (“Crucial Cuts One and Two” and “Lover’s Leap Showcase” albums) and more recently on the EFA releases, so there will be few surprises here for long term followers of the man. It is somewhat puzzling why Pressure Sounds decided to re release so much material which has been so easy to find on other labels, and included such a large amount of material which has only fairly recently been reissued on the market by other sources.

POWERFUL, MAGICAL CUTS
Having said that, there are indeed, some powerful, magical cuts here which have never seen CD release — anywhere else — until now. In particular, the intensely meditative, reflective “Ital West aka Dispensation aka Revolution.” Long term listeners will know the tune very well from the overpowering version on the Singers and Players album. There was also a 10″ disco mix, and numerous dubs on the ONU Sound label — so Sherman fanatics will not, under any circumstances want to miss the versions Pressure Sounds have made available now.

PEAK MUSICAL MOMENT
Other fresh and first rate tracks here are “Natty Cale” and “Leggo Natty Cale”, both of which version one of Bim’s peak musical moments, “Ever Firm”. These versions showcase Big Joe, a totally different vocal take from Bim (only partial here, not complete), and a Tubby’s dub — all of which are essential, offering fresh insight into, and fresh interpretations of one of Bim’s most heartfelt, hymn like tunes. The album profiles another rarity largely unheard outside of serious collectors circles, which will be of great interest to the Sherman fanatics — the version of the poetically eerie and elegiac “Tribulation aka Fit To Survive”. Included here is the 1975 mix which has never before seen CD release.

ANOTHER GEM
There is another gem here — “Weak Heart Men” is a completely fresh vocal/lyrical take on “My Whole World”, a tune also versioned by Ari’s New Age Steppers. Elsewhere on the album, Jah Woosh also chants on “Love Forever”, another cut which hasn’t seen CD issue before now.

CONCLUSION: A great comprehensive collection of Bim Sherman singles... A must have!!

1. Ital West Aka Dispensation 2:38
2. Ital West Dub 2:52
3. Danger 3:10
4. Love Forever Vocal 2:50
5. Love In The Ghetto {Toasting Featuring} – Jah Woosh 2:53
6. Love Forever Dub 2:49
7. Tribulation (Original 1975 Mix) 2:53
8. Golden Stool 2:55
9. Golden Stool Dub 2:59
10. Just Can't Stand It 2:30
11. Weak Heart Men 3:12
12. Weak Heart Men Dub 3:10
13. Trying 3:17
14. World Go Round 2:57
15. Every Where You Go 3:03
16. Golden Locks 3:22
17. Golden Locks Dub 3:27
18. Natty Cale {Toasting Featuring} – Big Joe 2:48
19. Lego Natty Cale 2:50
20. My Woman 2:52
21. My Woman Part 2 2:42
22. Lovers Leap 2:22
23. Lovers Leap Part 2 2:35

Notes
Incl. Artwork

Brazil

Korg keys and Roland drum machines meet virtuoso acoustic guitar playing.

"Lugar Alto presents their very first release: the incredibly rare and absolutely stunning Homenagem, by Leonardo V. Boccia. This is a forgotten gem from the '80s that examines traditional Brazilian themes such as choro, northeastern folk, and capoeira with touches of eighties electronics and new age.

Leonardo Boccia is a musician, multi-instrumentalist, composer, researcher and university professor of Culture and Society at the Federal University of Bahia, whose interests include sound studies, manipulation of sound media, audiosphere and aesthetics, musical theatre, audio culture and neuromusic.

Born in Italy, this respected academic studied music in Berlin, moved to Rio de Janeiro and established himself in Salvador where he was invited to research the northeastern music of Bahia. There he created the experimental group Macchina Naturale, an eclectic combo that performed regularly during his stay. In November 1980, Boccia participated in the first Instrumental Music Festival of Bahia as a soloist where he performed works of his own.

But it was in 1983 that Professor Boccia composed, directed and produced the LP Homenagem. With photos by renowned photographer and artist Mario Cravo Neto for the front and back cover of the booklet, the album presents new and original compositions for instrumental ensembles, such as: Choro Fantasia – for guitar and berimbau -, Canção para Iracema, Homenagem and Lenda do Sertão.

The LP was originally released on January 3rd, 1984, with a live performance in the main hall of the Castro Alves Theatre under the title Tribute to Brazilian Music, with the participation of vocalist Sueli Sodré, who contributes to the album, instrumentalists Zeno Millet and Onias Camardelli, accompanied by choreography and visuals.

Much of Homenagem examines the genre of Brazilian music known as Choro, or Chorinho, a genre which appeared in Rio de Janeiro in the 19th century. Choro is regarded as the first typically Brazilian urban music and, over the years, it has come to be considered one of the most prestigious genres of national popular music. Stylistically, it originates from Lundu, a percussion-based rhythm of African inspiration but also influenced by European genres. The instrumental composition of choro was based on the trinca flute, guitar and cavaquinho. Over time, other wind and string instruments were incorporated.

Here, in Homenagem, Professor Boccia deliberately mixes the old and the new, the traditional and the innovative; the album is the environment of Chorinho reconsidered and recontextualized, and its melodies and harmonies still capable of surprises. Just listen to Terra e Povo – it has an almost proto-acid-house quality to it, while the synth washes on Mãe Natureza with the ethereal vocal stylings of Sueli Sodré ushering in the progressive quality of the album.

Too long out of print, new label Lugar Alto now offers you the chance to reappraise this fascinating reissue of yet another forgotten chapter in Brazilian music. - Andy Cumming

The Story of Italian Composer Leonardo Boccia's Groundbreaking 'Tribute To Brazilian Music' And Its Recent Rediscovery

By Victor Meyer | Sounds and Colours  | 15 April, 2019

“On a very cold day, in one of those Berlin winters, I was browsing through a photobook of Brazil and, among many dazzling images, I found myself staring at a picture of the Pelourinho in Salvador, Bahia. I think that was the moment that defined my destiny”, tells Leonardo Vincenzo Boccia, the Italian-born professor and musician, via e-mail, from beautiful Salvador, 41 years after his definitive move to the city where he longed to live.

Well known for being a pleasant vacation destination, Bahia’s capital is also recognized for its rich, wide-ranging cultural life and history. Its renown was bolstered by the fact that many artists who emerged from Salvador ultimately gained worldwide prestige. But the city was (and still is) a destination for many others in different creative fields, mostly since the foundation of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) in 1946, whose first director was Dr. Edgar Santos, a visionary and ideological “cultural articulator”. Seeking to put the nation’s birthplace back into the position of cultural importance which it once occupied, Santos invited a group of European intellectuals, artists and professionals from several disciplines to join the university’s faculty. Musicians Walter Smetak and Ernst Widmer left Switzerland to teach at the Institution’s School of Music, after German maestro Hans-Joachim Koellreuter (Tom Jobim’s first music teacher) arrived from Rio De Janeiro, in 1954, to establish the curriculum that would be taken by names like Djalma Corrêa and tropicalistas Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Tom Zé throughout the following decades. Together with other notable students from other artistic areas, like film-maker Glauber Rocha and writer Waly Salomão, they contributed to the consolidation of Dr. Santos’ plan, establishing the University as an important agent for the city’s and country’s artistic development.

Boccia, who would later join the cadre of foreign teachers, first came to Brazil in 1976, newly graduated from the Universität der Künste Berlin. While visiting friends and performing often in São Paulo and Rio De Janeiro, he decided to take a bus to the place which had warmed his heart in that cold day in Berlin. “Even in Copacabana, where I was living at a friend’s house, I missed Salvador before I even set foot there” and, once there, “…I found the path that I was looking for. I think the Soteropolitanos felt it in me and welcomed me with such generosity, for which I’ll always be grateful.” This trip to Bahia resulted in an 8-month stay – he divided his time between musical studies, compositions, and performances. “I was directing the instrumental music group Macchina Naturale, which used to perform periodically with other Institute groups”. Like the UFBA, the local Goethe Institut (still a Germano-Brazilian Cultural Institute) was another point of congregation, as well as “safe territory” for artists, and important because of the support provided by hosting many presentations and rehearsals, as well as workshops, reunions and debates. The director at the time, Roland Schaffner, who moved from Germany to Salvador to assume the directorship, went out of his way to allow all this activity to happen. He is also affectionately remembered for sheltering artists and political militants in his house during the military regime of the 1970s, including Leonardo himself.

Berlin was immersed in a similar political atmosphere at the time, remembered by Boccia, who returned briefly in 1977 to “a tense, paranoid and suffering city that reached and reaches unbearable temperatures in the winter, people with depressed and silent features”, describing what – except for the military oppression – seems to be the exact opposite of Salvador. With some effort, he overcame the adversities of being a non-scholarship foreign student in cold, divided Berlin. “Creativity arose from the need to overcome the tense and unsustainable condition of a city simultaneously oppressed and in the process of renewal”, he says as he goes on to describe the good side of living in Berlin in the 1970s, “Musicians from all over the world converged on the German capital, and I enjoyed that effervescence of cultural liberation”. Those musicians included the guitarist Sebastião Tapajós, who Boccia would share a beer with and listen to stories of his hometown, Santarém, and Baden Powell, who periodically performed in the city. When in Berlin he would also listen to Gilberto Gil’s and João Gilberto’s new releases on the record player, and contends that “Brazilian music brightened up my life in Berlin, I owe a lot to it”. He also recalls meeting director Jorge Bodanzky and producer Wolf Gauer when they were launching Iracema – Uma Transa Amazônica (which only premiered in Brazil five years later), “Jorge and Wolf threw a party in München and I went to say goodbye to them. On that occasion, they gave me a colourful “figa” amulet of Amazonian wood, it was this amulet that brought me to Brazil for the first time, in 1976”.

An invitation for a position as visiting teacher at the UFBA for a season brought him back to Salvador in 1978, and, due to his extensive participation in artistic and academic activities, the contract was extended through to the following years. When he arrived, música instrumental (instrumental music) – often referred to as a genre in Brazil, despite the vagueness of the term – was on the rise all over the country, and in Salvador it was no different. Vitor Assis Brasil, Sivuca and Hermeto Pascoal made in a landmark performance in 1978, as well as Egberto Gismonti and his group Academia De Danças. The now better-known folk-jazz outfit Sexteto Do Beco had its very first public appearance in the same year, laying the ground for the release of their first and only (and very sought-after) eponymous LP two years later. 1980 was also marked by the first Instrumental Music Festival of Bahia, at the Castro Alves Theatre, organized by Zeca Freitas, member of the Raposa Velha jazz group, and Boccia was on the line-up alongside many other local groups.

On his second coming, he found a rousing environment at the University’s School of Music, where he met Gilberto Gil and worked on contemporary compositions for guitar with Ernst Widmer, also participating as a solo guitarist on his LP Sertania – Sinfonia do Sertão. Still recalling those years, Boccia mentioned playing Widmer classical songs alongside soprano singer Andrea Daltro, also a member of Sexteto Do Beco. Daltro recorded a solo album named Kiuá in 1988, and, financed by friends, released it as a LP, which was only locally distributed and was never widely heard. Recognized among a small number of record collectors, Kiuá was recently ‘rediscovered’, mostly because the album’s eponymous track is featured in the outstanding compilation Outro Tempo: Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978-1992. This brought to light a number of ‘lost’ and unusual Brazilian sounds from 1980s, contributing to the contextualization of an era in which much independent and creative music was made and recorded, allowing them a second chance to reach a wider audience.

Despite being connected in some way, the music produced by these artists is a result of distinct influences (not only musical) and encompasses different styles, depicting different scenarios, and this opened many eyes, ears and minds to overlooked and/or obscure music produced in that age with no restriction to style. My familiarization with Daltro’s music allowed me to notice something when Boccia’s album, Homenagem (portuguese for Tribute), was playing while I was in a record store in Belo Horizonte. Its first track, “Mãe Natureza”, gradually caught my attention. The ambient keyboard, later joined by a drum machine and bird sound effects revealed something far from ordinary. The female ethereal singing joins in, and then, in its last minute, the song suddenly turns into a choro. This was enough for me to buy the album. The following track, “Choro Fantasia”, begins with a berimbau alongside Boccia’s understated, though virtuosic, guitar playing. “Lenda Do Sertão” comes next, a north-eastern folk song which is accompanied only by varied percussion, giving the tune a slight psychedelic vibe. The synths come back with the berimbau-led, capoeira rhythm interlude “Urucungo”, that quickly gives place to the delicate “Canção Para Iracema”, both of which are proof of his proficiency in combining electronic and acoustic instruments.

“[I] experimented and still experiment in order to improve the interaction between musician and artificial intelligence.” Boccia talks about his relationship with electronic music, alluding to his Berlin years, when, while studying classic guitar, he also spent a lot of time dedicating himself to experimental music and computer programming. It is predictable that the electronic elements in the album come from his experiences in Berlin. But, seeing as the album is a tribute to Brazilian music, it is important to highlight the reasons for its presence. “I had no choice, I had to continue the Berlin musical project in the new life I’d made for myself in Bahia”, he explains, “I couldn’t forge my experience by not respecting my past, and electronic instruments are part of that past. […] I had to stay at the frontier of musical creation, respecting tradition while trying to devise new paths without losing that original energy which lies at the core of my musical education.” His experience might be shared by other Brazilian ‘in-between’ artists who were experimenting while still being firmly rooted in tradition, acknowledging the importance of “composing without losing creative protagonism” in the interaction with the electronic instruments. “The equipment has to be directed, otherwise it takes over the position of protagonist and dictates the type, genre, rhythm and everything else in the music, relegating the artist to a state of torpor (or digital euphoria), which leads to homogenous and unoriginal results.” The greatest example of said mastery is the almost wholly electronic “Terra e Povo”. Coming to the fore with a frenetic, noisy and rattling sound, the track takes shape and becomes something of a minimal synth tune, with a bass line that prefigures 90s acid house, while still in an unmistakably Brazilian swing.

The Roland TB-303 Bassline and the TR-606 drum machine, which are used in the songs in Homenagem, were brought to Brazil in a handbag, and encountered no complications at customs due to their small size and rather unsophisticated look. But importing instruments was far from being a hassle-free process. As Boccia reminds, “Everything was taxed at the airport, that was a really serious problem for young musicians”. The shortage of such equipment surely precluded many creative and experimental possibilities for Brazilian music, when we consider that the few examples we do have show excellence and originality. “With that equipment, I experimented with many programming possibilities, and I used it a lot in my performances. I even used it to record the LP,” says Boccia, who, besides the guitar and electronics, also recorded the keyboard and bass in the album. He also sings in Portuguese about love affairs and about Brazilian charm and tenderness in the mellifluous samba bossa “Carinho Brasileiro”, accompanied by Sueli Sodré, who sang backing vocals for Gilberto Gil at the time, and was also part of the Homenagem group. Lorival on berimbau, Tustão on percussion, and Alfredo Moura on keyboards in two tracks – this was the team that recorded the album at the WR studio in late 1983.

By that time, a couple of local musicians had left Salvador to attend the Berklee College of Music. Some began to play professionally and left the city, but very few had the chance to produce and release their own work. Boccia, who sold his car but still needed more money to cover the costs of finishing Homenagem, is a rare example. Its official release, in 1984, was at the Castro Alves Theatre, with a concert entitled “Homenagem à Música Brasileira” (Tribute to Brazilian Music). It was warmly welcomed by the public, and garnered positive reviews in the media, although Boccia admits he can’t really quantify its reach. We can’t know exactly what has happened since then, but the record’s limited distribution – most of the 1,000 copies were given to friends or traded in bookstores – and the decreasing interest in the vinyl format during the following years undoubtedly reduced the chances of coming across Homenagem.

Thankfully, a larger audience can now acquaint itself with gems like Homenagem, not only for its musical quality, but for its context, which can give the record an entirely new meaning. While the radio promotional copy I got was lying on my shelf, João Visconde, from São Paulo, found another, and took it seriously enough to provide the album a second chance. He launched the reissue label Lugar Alto, aiming to rescue forgotten or overlooked Brazilian music, and, in a daring move, made Homenagem its first release, even before any popularity might guarantee the necessary record sales to pay the costs of production ­(It’s worth pointing out that it is virtually impossible to make a considerable profit releasing vinyl records in Brazil nowadays). The reissue allowed me to examine the album more carefully, to better understand its context, which is excitingly linked to many figures and episodes of Salvador’s artistic history from the past century. Visconde told me that the album photos, which are credited to Mario Cravo Neto, renowned photographer and Boccia’s dear friend, were what made him purchase an LP he hadn’t even listened to yet. Cravo Neto’s photography style is clearly represented in the portrait on Homenagem’s cover (Lugar Alto’s reissue inserts carry previously unpublished shots by Cravo Neto). Son of sculptor Mario Cravo Junior – modern art pioneer from Bahia, also remembered for sheltering and supporting artists in his studio – he passed away in 2009. Boccia describes ‘Mariozinho’ as an extraordinary photographer and a simple man, and remembers how he supported his project in the “spirit of those times. […] An independent production relies on friends and the energy of supporters”.

Boccia often cites this feeling of support, and emphasizes generosity and good will as the essence of a musical community which has not been “provided with the digital tools which professionalized the world of music, but which also took from us part of this illusion […]. In the Salvador of the 1980s, we didn’t have big productions, nor sponsor money. We made do with very little, mostly because we wanted to get together and participate.”

Leonardo V. Boccia still lives in the city of his choosing, and still teaches at UFBA, where he is a professor at the Institute of Humanities, Arts and Science, and is involved in the Multidisciplinary Graduate Program in Culture and Society, and in Scenic Arts. “Teaching at UFBA is what I’m best at. I’m extremely grateful for having my colleagues and so many talented young students the Institution.”

1. Mãe Natureza 5:05
2. Choro Fantasia 2:35
3. Lenda do Sertão 3:41
4. Urucungo 1:13
5. Canção Para Iracema 4:35
6. Homenagem 2:52
7. Auauá Flori 4:45
8. Terra e Povo 2:03
9. Carinho Brasileiro 3:21
10. Durma Estrelinha 2:44

Peru

''Los Ovnis'' appeared in the year of 1978 and imposed a new musical movement, which would later mark the lives of the provincials who migrated from the countryside to the city, so they are rightly called and recognized as "The creators of Andean tropical music”, years later called “Chicha”.

“Los Ovnis del Perú”, by the great guitar master Jorge Chambergo Porta, a famous Huancaine group of Andean tropical music, is back on stage for the happiness of its thousands of fans throughout the Peruvian territory.

"Dime sí", "No llores papá", "Triste desengaño", "Tres amores", "Linda colegiala", "Corazón herido", "Amor vuelve", "He caído por inocente", "La suegrita", among others Andean and elegant songs will be sung on stage again, complemented by the literary genre turned into poetry such as the song “Olvido” in the voice of Armando Núñez, the popular “Armandito”, who keeps his voice intact as if it were yesterday. Next to him will be other voices such as Nitza Melgar and other singers.

"Los Ovnis" sings to life, society and work. Thanks to the genius and creativity of Jorge Chambergo, he has compositions that have deeply penetrated the heart of the Peruvian people, many of which have won “gold records” and occupied the first places in the record ranking in Lima and provinces.

Spanish
''Los Ovnis del Perú'', del gran maestro de la guitarra Jorge Chambergo Porta, afamada agrupación huancaína de música tropical andina, está de vuelta a los escenarios para la felicidad de sus miles de fans a lo largo y ancho del territorio peruano.

''Dime sí'', ''No llores papá'', ''Triste desengaño'', ''Tres amores'', ''Linda colegiala'', ''Corazón herido'', ''Amor vuelve'', ''He caído por inocente'', ''La suegrita'', entre otras canciones de estilo andino y elegante se volverán a cantar en los escenarios, complementados con el género literario convertido en poesías como el tema ''Olvido'' en la voz de Armando Núñez, el popular ''Armandito'', quien  conserva intacta su voz como si fuera ayer. Junto a él estarán otras voces como la de Nitza Melgar y otros cantantes.

''Los Ovnis'' le canta a la vida, a la sociedad y al trabajo. Gracias a la genialidad y creatividad de Jorge Chambergo tiene en su haber composiciones que han penetrado profundamente el corazón del pueblo peruano, muchas de las cuales, han ganado ''discos de oro'' y ocuparon los primeros lugares en el ranking discográfico en Lima y provincias.

''Los Ovnis'', apareció allá por el año de 1978 e impuso un nuevo movimiento musical, la que luego marcaría la vida de los provincianos que migraron del campo a la ciudad, por ello con toda justicia son llamados y reconocidos como ''Los creadores de la música tropical andina'', años después llamada ''Chicha''.

1. Mala Mujer 3:13
2. Chofercito 2:52
3. Caprichosa 2:20
4. Linda Huancaína 3:16
5. Flor De Cochabamba 3:12
6. Olvido 3:12
7. Linda Colegiala 3:14
8. Corazón Herido 4:25
9. Tarde Te Arrepentirás 3:14
10. Mi Pobreza Es Bonanza 2:37
11. Mi Cuzco 3:29
12. Valle Del Canipaco 3:39

Peru

A masterpiece of 100% Peruvian psychedelic chicha, originally from 1981, returns to wax! The LP is essential for fans of a.o. Los Destellos, Los Mirlos, Roots Of Chicha, Juaneco Y Su Combo and Chacaln Y La Nueva Crema.

Los Shapis, a legendary group of tropical Peruvian music, will be relaunching their first LP ‘Los auténticos’ (1981). The revival of this album, which was one of the pioneers of Andean Cumbia, will commemorate the 36th anniversary of the band led by Julio Simeón (“Chapulín el Dulce”) and Jaime Moreyra and will include emblematic songs such as ‘El Aguajal’ and ‘Como un errante’.

The relaunching of ‘Los auténticos’ forms part of a project to rescue and revive Discos Horóscopo, a record label founded 40 years ago by Juan Campos Muñoz, and which boasts one of the most important catalogues of chicha music from the 70s and 80s. The label was created and can be recognized as the main driving force of Andean cumbia in Lima, as it took on producing albums of artists that gambled on not only creating a new sound, but also molding a new type of aesthetic, led by Chacalón y La Nueva Crema, Los Shapis, Pintura Roja and Los Ovnis.

Jalo Nuñez del Prado, record label producer, spearheaded the initiative to rescue, restore, and distribute the album on digital platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Apple Music, Deezer, among many) from the exquisite catalogue of Discos Horóscopos. The collection “Los 10 discos esenciales de la chicha peruana” counts on being a collection in luxurious format that will feature completely remastered vinyls and CDs from the most important artists essential to understanding the chicha movement. The second album in the collection – which opened with the edition of ‘Chacalón y la Nueva Crema’ – is the debut feature by the band Los Shapis.

Formed in the city of Huancayo on February 14, 1981, Los Shapis – whose name was inspired by a traditional dance, “Los Shapis de Chupaca” – were hailed as ambassadors of chicha when they toured throughout different countries, which gave birth to the internationalization of Peruvian cumbia in the early 1980s.

By 1983, the band was based out of Lima. Its members composed iconic songs about the provincial and profound identity of Peru, in a time marked by racism and classism from the most privileged sectors. A rhythmic tradition that would accompany the two most conflictive phenomena of the era: terrorism and economic debacle, reasons that motivated the massive migration from the countryside to the city.

“It is a culture that alludes to disorder and popular excess, drunkenness and chaos, but also a way of appropriating while simultaneously mocking the west,” says researcher Alfredo Villar, collaborator of the project to revalorize Peruvian cumbia.

1. Borrachito Borrachón 2:55
2. Mi Tallercito 3:26
3. Angelita 2:47
4. Como Un Errante 3:36
5. Si No Regresara 3:52
6. Perdidos 3:19
7. El Aguajal 3:54
8. Tu Boda 2:30
9. Esperanza De Amor 3:19
10. Volverás Mi Niño 3:01
11. Mal Amigo 4:10
12. En La Selva 2:44

Peru

'A remastered collection of Peruvian psychedelic chicha from 1981! Lorenzo Palacios Quispe a.k.a. Chacalon was a superstar of mythical proportions in his native country. He named his band La Nueva Crema as a tribute to the UK band Cream. Musically this is a mixture of traditional Peruvian elements and western rock. Great stuff!'

'Chacalon is a true hero of the Peruvian people, still an icon of popular chicha cumbia to this day, after his early death in 1994. His strong songs changed the sound of chicha cumbia forever, with added psychedelica, rawness and realness. Songs for the poor, to lift their hearts and hope. That is the spirit of Papa Chacalon. This LP was his debut, filled with classics such as 'Mi Dolor', 'Por Que Te Amo', 'Llanto de un Nino' and 'Por Ella, La Botella'. Now remastered and reissued, a must have!'

Gente sabrosa. Lorenzo Palacios Quispe rodeado de los integrantes de su conjunto La Nueva Crema (década de los ochenta).
'Chicha music is neither a replica or a copy, despite using Western instruments, such as the electric guitar, bass, drums and organs, and mixing them with cymbals, congas and tropical Guiros. Chicha music has indomestizo elements (like Huayno music) tucked deep in his blood. Listen to the powerful cries of Chacalon and you will hear the heartfelt music of Huancayo; listen to his delicate voice breaks and you will hear the sweet music of Ayacucho. The mix of delicacy and strength and rural and cosmopolitan elements, is part of the secret of seduction that chicha music has had over the masses.

Aside from use of electric instruments, rock music has influenced chicha music in other ways. Chacalón’s band was called New Cream as a tribute to the British band Cream. Their use of powerful fuzz tones and wah-wah pedals for acid riffs and catchy solos, are the echoes of a rebellious music that wanted to silence the noises of a marginalized and exploitative city atmosphere debased by the most savage capitalism. “I seek a new life in this city / where everything is money and there is evil,” reads “Provinciano”, Chacalon’s most famous songs.

It’s because lyrics like these that people saw Chacalón as a messianic figure who sang about the promise of a new life. He sang about pain, alcohol and betrayal, but also about solidarity, love and hope. Chacalon sang to the most marginalized part of society, the lumpenproletariat, and not the middle class or the wealthy. Lorenzo Palacios did not see differences between those who complied with the law or those who transgressed it, because in marginality, survival is the only rule and the boundaries between good and evil become very subtle. "Eat first, then morals,” said Chacalon.'

'In 1994 a local hero of the proletariat died in Peru at the age of forty-four. Chacalon, better known at the registry office as Lorenzo Palacios Quispe. His funeral attracted more than fifty thousand people, blocked all of Lima and became an unofficial day of national mourning. He was a migrant son of poor parents from the Andes who came to Lima for a better life. Growing up in the rugged favela hillside neighborhoods of Lima, he sang in the street for his money from an early age. His breakthrough came with the cumbia group Grupo Celeste, after which he continued solo and gathered his own super band. Chacalon Y La Nueva Crema was born, referring to the band Cream by Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. From their debut album in 1978, the band became the embodiment of the chicha cumbiascene, the psychedelic cumbi rock. This was also the very first release on the Discos Horoscopo label, started by Juan Campos Muñoz who provided a breath of fresh air within the Peruvian cumbia scene. In 2017, the label has been restarted by Jalo Nuñez del Prado from the Peruvian indie scene; and the starting shot is up to Chacalon. Not coincidentally, because the album was an outright hit, it always sold out and originally sold for $ 100. Most of the songs on this album are all classics and can still be heard daily on the radio of the working people. Listen to "Mi Dolor", "Llanto De Un Niño" or "Por Ella, La Botella" to contain the power in sound and word. Top plate, out on deluxe vinyl.'

1. Mi Dolor 3:33
2. Porque La Amo 3:04
3. Llanto De Un Niño 3:31
4. Maria Teresa 2:51
5. Será Mejor 3:19
6. Por Ella, La Botella 3:32
7. Tu Y La Noche 3:21
8. Quiéreme 3:06
9. Mala Mujer 2:40
10. Nadie Conoce El Mundo 3:00
11. Sin Hogar 3:01
12. Chana 3:57

Jamaica

10 tough disco mixes - vocal and dub - with Horace at the peak of his late 70's form.

'Horace Andy, an enormously popular reggae singer in the 1970s, enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the late '90s, due in part to his extensive work with the British band Massive Attack. This has led, thankfully, to massive reissues of his earlier work, of which this is one of the better examples. Each of the ten tracks is presented in "discomix" style: The normal, vocal version comes first, and then segues seamlessly into the dub version. Those who have found his recent solo work under the aegis of Mad Professor to be a bit bloodless and overproduced will find this collection of 1970s singles refreshing. It starts out slow, with a disappointing piece of meta-reggae -- reggae songs about how wonderful reggae is are rarely revelatory -- but things pick up quickly with "Serious Thing" and the inevitable "Skylarking," and the momentum stays strong up to the end. Andy's high, almost girlish voice and weird vibrato may be an acquired taste for some, but he's worth the effort.' -AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson

Liner notes
'Nothing, they say, come quick to Jah pickney; today Horace Andy is more popular than he has ever been. Horace's career has already lasted over thirty years; he attributes his longevity in the business to the sound education he received at Clement Coxsone Dodd's Studio One in the early 1970s. Although he had first recorded for producer George Phil Pratt around 1967, the tune wasn't a success. The young Horace was convinced that his voice was too light; his idol at the time was Delroy Wilson, the leading solo vocalist for Coxsone, alongside Ken Boothe. Horace used to listen to Delroy's records over and over - 'trying to sing deep' - but couldn't manage it.

Late in 1969 he attended a Sunday afternoon audition at Dodd's Brentford Road studio; the last to sing. he was immediately accepted. Coxsone even gave the singer his stage name: 'I think Mr Dodd had faith, he really did. I remember 'im say to me: youthman, weh you name? I say Horace Hinds. 'Im walk around and come back, an' 'im say: Horace Andy, like our Bob Andy out dere already. An' I say: alright. I had to learn to sing when I went to Studio One. That's why I respect Mr Dodd, beca' 'im mek me learn. If it wasn't for Studio One, yu wouldn't hear about me, I would jus' go 'pon the wayside. An' Leroy Heptones, me a fi give thanks for Leroy Sibbles all the time. That's why I mek 'Mr Bassie', off a Leroy Sibbles, fi real. Alton Ellis is mi father - me call 'im mi father. Me an' Dennis Brown, every day we used to tek 'way Alton(s) guitar an' go play it, every day. An' you see Bagga (Walker) and Pablo Black, those people a we teacher. That's why we sound good, 'cause we were amongst the best, me, Dennis (Brown), - Sugar Minott is the last one to get that teachin'. Professional people - even Earl Heptone (Morgan), 'im show mw 'D' - how to play the D chord on the guitar - an' I'll never forget that. 'Skylarking' was my first hit song - it was first released on an LP 'Jamaica Today' (Studio One). Tippatone an' Sir George played it off LP and mashed up the dance'.

At the foundation studio, Horace learned fast; he made a couple of albums and a series of singles for Coxsone that established his name and have become reggae classics. By 1972 he has moved on, and began working for a number of producers. Returning to Phil Pratt, he cut songs like 'Get Wise' and the first cut of 'Money Is The Root Of All Evil'; he made records for Leonard 'Santic' Chin including the first cut of 'Problems'. For Derrick Harriott, Horace made 'Lonely Woman', still one of the most requested songs in his repertoire; for Harry J he cut 'God Is Displeased', for Augustus 'Gussie' Clark he sang a version of Tom Jones' smash 'Delilah'. He made numerous other songs for smaller producers, like the anthemic 'Reggae Rhythm' included here, cut for Trio International.

During this time he also began recording extensively for Bunny Lee, who produced hits like 'You Are My Angel' and an album of the same name in 1973; among its tracks was an excellent cover of Delroy Wilson's 'Rain From The Skies' This compilation draws from 1975-1980, a transitional period in Horace's career, during which he moved from being a freelance singer through co-production with the New York-based Jamaican producer Everton DaSilva, to a stage where he had control over his own label, Rhythm. In 1975-76  Horace was still singing for Bunny Lee, digging deep into his Studio One back catalogue for cuts such as 'Skylarking' (included here) and scoring dancehall hits with a cover of Tony Orlando's pop hit 'Bless You' for Robbie Shakespeare's Bar-Bell label.

Again for Lee, he made a second version of 'Money Money', the herb anthem 'Better Collie', and 'Serious Thing', a song written by John Holt about an incident in the political 'war' that was beginning to explode in Kingston ghettos in 1976. Horace also made 'Pure Ranking' for Bunny the same year, and an album of that title was released by Brad Osbourne on Clocktower Records in New York in 1977. The lyrics of 'Pure Ranking' deal with the spread of 'bad manism', another feature of the heightened political tension of the late 1970s. The cut featured here is a special 12" version mixed by King Tubby and Prince Jammy in 1978. It was originally released on photographer Dave Hendley's Sufferer Heights label. Horace still worked for smaller outfits, issuing songs like 'Beware Of A Smiling Face' and 'Man To Man' on the Mr Big label, and the beautiful 'Rock To Sleep' on Arab.

The following year his combination with deejay/producer Tappa Zukie, 'Natty Dread A Weh She Want' was massive in the dance; Tappa released other singles, including 'Revolution' and 'Earth Must Be Hell', a new version of a song Horace had first recorded in 1972.

Invited by New York label owner Clintone to visit the USA, Horace also met up with Everton DaSilva in Hartford, Connecticut. 'That's where I met Everton DaSilva, an' we decide to do an album. Myrie was playin' the bass, and Andy Bashford (Guitar). Me id the firs' person tek 'im to the studio. We laid tracks at A&R (NY), an' then we went to Jamaica, an' lay the other tracks with Augustus Pablo and Leroy Heptones in Harry J's (studio). Everton send fi Leroy, that's how much we respect Leroy'.

The collaboration with DaSilva on the album 'In The Light' (Blood and Fire BAFCD 006) remains a high point of Horace's late 1970s work. DaSilva also issued a number of 12" discomix singles mixed by Prince Jammy at King Tubby's studio - recuts of 'Children Of Israel' and 'New Broom', both featuring deejay Prince Mohammed, and a brilliant version of 'Mr Bassie' mentioned by Horace above as another tune he had first recorded at Studio One in the early 1970s. DaSilva also issued the brooding 'Youths Of Today' as a 7" single on his Hungry Town imprint, again with a Jammy dub. 'Problems' originally cut for Leonard Chin earlier in the decade was also recut at these sessions; it was retitled  'Don't Let Problems Get You Down' when Horace released it on his own Rhythm imprint in 1978. By this time Horace was living in the USA, basing himself in Hartford, Connecticut. He issued a series of singles on Rhythm: 'Good Vibes' (riding a cut of 'Shang Kai Shek'), 'Control Yourself', and 'Ital Vital' (over the top of Freddie McKay's 'Rockabye Woman' rhythm). All are included with their dub versions on this current set. Horace also made a version of Delroy Wilson's 'Won't You Come Home Now'.

He began an association with expatriate Jamaican producer Lloyd 'Bullwackie' Barnes, who was running his own studio at 241st Street and White Plains Road in the Bronx - 'right in the heart of Babylon' as Horace remembers it. Milton Henry and Sugar Minott were also frequent visitors to Wackie's, the studio which pioneered the recording of reggae in the USA. Horace learned to play keyboards there over the next couple of years, eventually releasing the 'Dance Hall Style' album for the label.

Horace maintained his profile throughout the 1980s with regular albums and singles, both self-produced and for others; in 1990 he was asked to join the Massive Attack posse, and has been with them ever since, commenting that 'I always wanted to try music like this, but there was no-one in Jamaica to do it'. Early in 1997 the career-spanning compilation 'Skylarking' was released on Massive subsidiary Melankolic.

Horace has continued to record in the reggae market, most recently making excellent sets for Mad Professor and similarly fine singles with Mafia & Fluxy for the innovative Annex label in Kingston.

So far it's been a remarkable run for the man they call Sleepy; the ten discomix-length songs of roots and reality on this compilation offer further convincing evidence of his unique talent and his continuing ability to reach new audiences.'

Steve Barrow - June 1997
Horace Andy interviewed July 1996, London

HORACE ANDY
Horace Andy (born Horace Hinds, 19 February 1951 in Kingston, Jamaica), is a legendary (roots) reggae singer, notable for numerous classic tracks. “Government Land”, “You Are My Angel”, “Skylarking”, “Zion Gate”, “Pure Ranking”, “Money, Money” and his sublime version of Bill Whithers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”. The singer made his earliest recordings in the late 1960s, at Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One. Known for his distinctive falsetto vocal style, he sang on many classic productions for reggae producers, including Phil Pratt, King Tubby, Bullwackie, Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee and Prince Jammy. The 1970s was his most prolific period.

He found a new generation of fans in the 1990s, thanks to his work with trip hop pioneers Massive Attack, continued to record new music in the late 1990s and at the beginning of the new millennium, with an album called “Living In The Flood” released in 1999 on Massive Attack’s Melankolic record label, as well as productions for Ariwa, Jah Shaka and Bunny Gemini. He was also featured on the world music project “1 Giant Leap”. In 2007 he cut an impressive album called “Livin’ It Up” with legendary riddim twins Sly & Robbie. Recent albums include “Serious Times” (2010) and “Broken Beats” (2013) on the German Echo Beach label. He’s still active, recording and touring around the world.

HORACE ANDY-GOOD VIBES
In 1997 the legendary Blood & Fire label issued their second Horace Andy re-release called “Good Vibes”. This compilation draws from his most prolific period 1975 -- 1980 and is a delightful and superb selection of Horace Andy gems. It includes productions from obscure labels such as Trio International, check out the excellent album opener “Reggae Rhythm” inna extended version. Next comes the political song “Serious Thing”, written by John Holt about an incident in the political war of 1976. That one was done for Bunny “Striker” Lee just like his do-over of his Studio One classic “Skylarking”.

“Youths Of Today”, a song in which he expresses his worries ’bout the youths of today, was released on Everton da Silva’s Hungry Town imprint. From the same producer comes the awesome ode to Leroy Sibbles (being the Studio One bassman for years) “Mr. Bassie”. What a cut! Horace also put out some stuff on his own Rhythm label: “Don’t Let Problems Get You Down” and “Good Vibes”, the latter being underpinned by the “Shank I Sheck” riddim. Delroy Wilson’s “Won’t You Come Home Now” is perfectly versioned by Sleepy as “Control Yourself”. “Ital Vital” recuts Freddie McKay’s tune “Rockabye Baby”. -by Teacher at Reggae Vibes

1. Reggae Rhythm · It's Gone Internationally 5:27
2. Serious Thing · A Serious Version 6:48
3. Skylarking · A Better Version 6:32
4. Youths Of Today · Jah Youths 7:02
5. Don't Let Problems Get You Down · No Problem 6:45
6. Mr. Bassie (Discomix) 7:28
7. Pure Ranking (Discomix) 8:29
8. Good Vibes · Dub Vibes 6:15
9. Control Yourself · Version Under Control 5:29
10. Ital Vital · Ital Ites Dubwise 7:20

Notes
Incl. booklet

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