AFRICA ON MY MIND
* * /1978? - Aquarius Recording - studio - discs:1
Harold Butler is a pianist, composer, arranger, and producer. He comes from a family of musicians. His older brother, Leslie, was a keyboardist who played at the Federal Studio during the 1960s and the 1970s. Another brother has recorded and toured for Bunny Wailer, Dennis Brown, Jimmy Cliff, Culture and Judy Mowatt. During the 70's he has recorded for the most important Jamaican artists and producers. The list of artists he played for is huge and we want to remember a few names at least. As a keyboardist he played for Beres Hammond, Bunny Wailer ("Black Heart Man"), Culture ("Two Sevens Clash" and "Cumbolo"), Delroy Wilson, Dennis Brown ("Visions Of Dennis Brown"), The Meditations ("Guidance"), Sylford Walker, Toots & Maytals. As a pianist he played for Cedric Im Brooks ("United Africa"), Derrick Harriott, Ernest Ranglin, Ken Boothe. As an organist he played for Joe Gibbs ("African Dub All-Mighty" and "African Dub All-Mighty Chapter 3"), Pablo Moses, Trinity ("Three Piece Suit"). On synthesiser he played for Beres Hammond, Ken Boothe. He played the clavinet for Peter Tosh' "Equal Rights" album. And finally we must remember him on melodica for Judy Mowatt's "Black Woman". His solo albums are: "The Butler Did It", "My Life : Part 1", "Meditation Heights", "African On My Mind", and the soundtrack for the movie "Children of Babylon". By the late 80's some mental problems forced him to retire from the activity, but in recent years he has reappeared onstage with good acclaim. The present set collects some material recorded around 1978. The mood is quite puzzling. The recipe is made of Jazz, some light Roots, Soul and some so called African reminiscences on the background. The tracks are basecally instrumentals, in some cases sustained by vocals and chorus. Apart from some tracks listed below, this risky mixture of sounds and atmospheres is uncertain and at the end almost disappointing. On nine tracks emerge "Liberation" (featuring Beres Hammond), "South Africa", "Crying In Soweto" and "Out Of Bondage" as a great Jazz track. The album was produced by Herman Chin Loy and recorded at his legendary Aquarius Studio. It was engineered by Mervyn Williams and Stephen Stanley; and mixed by them with the addition of Boris Gardiner.