JAH STITCH (b. 1949 - )
ORIGINAL RAGGA MUFFIN 1975-77
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1975-1977 - Blood and Fire - studio - discs:1
This is a dreader than dread, darker than dark, deeper than deep, toasting set. If you are not a fan of that sort of souds, well, maybe it is better to check in a different direction. If on the contrary, you like it, you are in the right place. Jah Stitch was born Melbourne James on July, 27 1949. He started with a sound system called Fingertone and quite early the name changed to Tippertone. Soon a new talent called Big Youth (!) came to spar with him. After that sing-jay experience with the sound system, Big Youth started to record. Youth accused Stitch of stealing the lyrics, and they went their own way. Stitch found himself alone but he was so fond for the sing-jay music that he decided to start his own Sound. It was called Black Harmony and it got immediate success. Johnnie Clarke and Linval Thompson started there. The producer Bunny Lee got interested in the new Sound and soon they started to work together. The first recording, "Danger Zone", was released for Flabba Holt. "Give Jah The Glory" (present here) followed. In the meantime Lee moved to the UK and Stitch Black Harmony became more and more a danger for the rival Tippertone. A sound clash was organized and a result a friend of Stitch was killed. Worst things were waiting for Stitch. Somebody from Tippertone accused Stitch of leaving them abruptly. He denied any accusation about any kind of betrayal. As a result they shot him! Even if a bullet went through his head he did not die. After specific surgery and once out of the hospital Jah Stitch had to start from the beginning since his voice was no more what once was. The clear declaration of "No Dread Can't Dead" (first song after the shooting) clearly stated Stitch intentions. He had still strangth to voice over rhythms. He recorded other tunes after that. He toured the UK with full success. And now... well he is a legend. Cultural and reality issues have always been at the core of his singing along with his devotion to Rastafari. The material here is all marvellous: this is pure toasting and sing-jay music. Again, this is dreader than dread, darker than dark, deeper than deep 70's music.
DREAD INNA JAMDOWN
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VARIOUS - Kingston Sounds - studio - discs: 1This fourteen tracks compilation covering an unspecified period of the 70's presents some material from the great toaster Jah Stitch. But unfortunately the material collected is not that great. It opens with "Read Inna Jamdown", based on John Holt's "In The Springtime". The second track is "Dem Seek Natty Everywhere", again based on a Holt song. In this case it is time for "Forgot To Say I Love You". Follows the five stars "Make A Joyful Noise", based on the stellar Jackie Mittoo's "Drum Song" rhythm. The fourth track is "Serious Thing", versioning Johnny Clarke's "Playful Forget Wise". Follows "The Best Is Yet To Come" which is based on Ken Boothe's "Moving Away". The sixth track is called "Natty Dread Skanking". Follows "From Dusk To Dawn" over the Trinity classic "Three Piece Suit". The eighth track is "Hold On Tight" based on Johnny Clarke's version of "I'll Be Lonely". Follows "Love For Everyone" based on Fish Clarke's (also known as Eric Clarke and brother of Johnny Clarke) version of the previous rhythm. The tenth track is "Rock To The Beat" on Pat Kelly's "Kiss Me Each Morning". Follows "Natty Going On So" based on Jackie Mittoo's "Autumn Season" instrumental. Follows "Live Together In Harmony" based again on a Pat Kelly song. That is called "No Love". The thirteenth track is "Tune Into Jumpers" on Johnny Clarke's "Empty Chair". The CD closes with "Channel 1 Lesson" based on Derrick Morgan's "Blazing Fire". With the exception of only two tracks, the rest of this collection sounds quite undertone. The lyrics are generally and as always good, but the final result is not that interesting. Jah Stitch is a great toaster, but here his skills does not emerge as expected.