DANCE ON THE CORNER
JAH THOMAS (b. 1955 - )
* * * /1979 - Abraham - studio - discs:1
Jah Thomas (born Nkrumah Thomas after the first president of former British colony Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, in 1955 in Kingston ) started to deejay at King Stereograph, Killamanjaro, Soul Imperial and finally King Jammy's Soundsystem. He had his first hit in 1976 with "Midnight Rock", a single produced by GG Ranglin. A key player for the success of the single was Errol "Flabba" Holt, future bass player of one of the most important backing bands of the Dancehall era: the Roots Radics. His role was seminal not only for "Midnight Rock" but also for the following releases. In 1978 Thomas cut his first Lp called "Stop Yu Loafin'", produced by Joseph "Joe Joe" Hookim at Channel One. The following year Thomas started to self-produce his efforts backed by the emerging Roots Radics. The label, called Midnight Rock after his first hit, soon released another hit: the single "Cricket Lovely Cricket", based on the single "My Conversation". Thomas then released the present set called "Dance On The Corner". The album was mixed by King Tubby and Scientist at King Tubby's and also voiced there. At the same time he also started to produce other artists singles, with Early B and Ranking Toyan among the first. The list of the other emerging artists that worked with Thomas include Michael Palmer, Barrington Levy, Barry Brown, Little John plus the already stars Johnny Osbourne and Sugar Minott. But the major hits were "Entertainment" and "Joker Smoker" by Tristan Palma (1981) amd "Gun Shot" by Anthony Johnson (1982). The tracks of this album are "Praise God", "Mister Walker", "Dance On The Corner", "General 007", "Trackas", "Natty Dread The Traveller", "Cricket Lovely Cricket", "Best Dress", "Bad Man Entry" and "Marijuana". This album presents a quite interesting series of tracks with a few peaks that stand above the others. The general mood is of course Deejay Dancehall and generally speaking the music seems more engaging than the vocals. The Roots Radics provide a powerful musical background and the treatement by Tubby and Scientist certainly makes the difference. Especially when the latter is clearly more involved than Tubby the result is strong. Will be for sure appreciated by the enthusiasts of this style.