Jezzreel-Great Jah Jah

September 14, 2008

Jezzreel

Great Jah Jah (Wackies 1980, reissued 2006)

http://www.mediafire.com/?mytxo4wz3oz

I’ve never really delved into the reissue program of the Wackies label releases, but probably should do so since it has been overseen by Basic Channel/Rhythm and Sound innovators, Mauritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus. I’ve liked most of what I’ve heard thusfar, especially the Sugar Minott album, Wicked Ago Feel It! When I saw that Jezzreel consisted of Minott’s longtime collaborators, Clive Davis and Christopher Harvey, my interest was piqued. A few months ago, I saw a cheap copy for sale and figured that I’d take the plunge. This is a bit more drugged and dub-influenced than the few Minott albums I’ve heard and I think I may prefer Jezzreel’s eccentric harmonies and bizarro rants about the Roman empire over Minott’s more accessible approach. However, if anyone is able to tunr me onto some deep Minott excursions, I’d be greatly indebted to you.

Great Jah Jah possessed all of the trademarks of the Wackies label with its mix of angelic harmonizing, hypnotic basslines and and an eccentric streak a mile wide. In fact, Rhythm and Sound’s modern update of dub doesn’t sound too far removed from this 1980 gem. The highlight of Great Jah Jah is “Roman Soldiers” which seems to be an anti-imperialist rant that threatens the wrath of Jah upon colonial oppressors. On the other hand, it is a dense track with what sounds like a dying melodica being abused in the background as the nimble basslines snake all over the goddamn place. A less claustrophobic air pervades the rest of the album as elements of doo-wop lover’s rock take the forefront and the album takes a more laid-back narcotic path as everything is phased to high heaven. I really dig the guitarist’s work on this album and possibly enjoy it even more since he goes by the moniker of Reggae Jerry.  Sure, there are better dub and reggae albums in this wonderful world of ours, but this one just sounds perfect on this humid evening and it seemed fitting to share with you even if it is cold and damp in your corner of the planet.