COUNT OSSIE AND THE MYSTIC REVELATION OF RASTAFARI (b. 1926 - † 1976)
THE ORIGINAL COMPLETE GROUNATION
* * * *1973 - Retro - studio - discs:2
Rastafarians "grounations" (meetings) are aimed to praise Jah, read the King James Bible and practice the "reasoning" (discussing and exploring the deep meaning of life, spiritual issues and social matters) These gatherings employ chants and drums. The music played is called Nyahbingi and it is made by the use of a large bass drum, beaten with a padded stick; and two smaller drums: the "funde" and the "kette" (repeater). These meetings did not employ elctrified instruments, and nowadays we would call them totally "unplugged" sessions. This is the oldest form of Rastafarian music and has its foundation in the ancient sounds brought to Jamaica by the former African slaves. The present set (originally released as a triple album, and the first triple set ever released in Jamaica) was the first serious attempt to put on record the Nyahbingi music. The core of this group of musicians was built around two players: Count Ossie (born Oswald Williams) and Cedric "Im" Brooks. The former was the leader of a group of drummers and the latter (on tenor saxophone, clarinet and flute) was the leader of a group of horns players. Cedric "Im" Brooks later formed the masterful The Light Of Saba group. The tracks are Nyahbingi with some jazz feeling provided by the horns section. Between the tracks there are orations by Brother Samuel Clayton. This sort of contamination of Nyahbingi with jazz was not something new for Ossie. He started playing with jazz musicians in the late 40's and when in 1951 he established a Rastafari camp in East Kingston near the Wareika Hills, a lot of jazz musicians congregated there to play with him and his fellow drummers. Ossie's use of the bass drum with the "funde" and the "kette" set the basis for the roots of the Rastafari music. That was the roots of the Roots and when Prince Buster decided to use Ossie's drums for The Folkes Brothers "Oh Carolina" in 1961 , things changed forever. To appreciate the fruit you have to start from the roots.
Note: for a fully comprehensive experience of what is Nyahbinghi music, please refer to the "CHURCHICAL CHANTS OF THE NYABINGI" set. This live field recording is commented inside the VARIOUS / COMPILATIONS PAGE. It can be reached here.