WINSTON JARRETT (b. 1940 - )
SURVIVAL IS THE GAME
* * * /1969-1995 - Nocturne - studio - discs:2
Winston Jarrett was born in St. Ann Parish in 1940. Moving to Trench Town ghetto with his brother Linton Clarke, he soon faced the hardest side of Jamaica. There he also met Jimmy Cliff who played guitar and this was quite inspiring. In 1965 Alton Ellis' partner Eddie Perkins (Alton and Ellis) moved to the U.S. and Alton decided to quit with music. But Winston persuaded Alton to start Alton and The Flames, with Winston and Eggar "Baby G" Gordon on harmony vocals. When in 1969 Alton moved to Europe, Winston started the group called Winston Jarrett and the Righteous Flames, with Eggar and Junior Green. Soon Winston proved that he has able to shift between Ska atmospheres (as with "Easy Come, Easy Go", even if he never actually recorded in the Ska era), Rocksteady (as with "Up Park Camp"), or early deep Roots (as with "Fear Not"). He also moved to different producers to release his music, Duke Reid, Prince Buster and Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd were some of them. An example of his efforts for Dodd is "Should Have Been Me", here presented with its Dub B-side and called "Should Have Dubbed Me" (1975). A typical Jamaican and confusing situation happened when some singles from Studio One were released in England as Righteous Holmes and not Righteous Flames. The same happened when Sindey Bucknor released "True Born African" (1972) credited to T-Man and the T-Bones. This thirtysix, two discs collection, must be explored with the deserved attention. Let us start with Disc One. The collection opens with "Armageddon Dub Style" (1975) cut at Studio One. Mesmerizing Dub. Follows "Up Park Camp", "Easy Come, Easy Go" (both from 1969) and "Should Have Been Me" (1975) all cut for Dodd. Tracks five and six, "Writing On The Wall" and "Country Woman" with a rural style were cut around 1969-1970 at Channel One and produced and arranged by Brent Clarke. The following tracks, "Fear Not" (1969), "No War (Survival Is The Game)" (1970), "Survival Is The Game (Girl Like You)" and "Do You Hear" (from 1979 and versioning the Wailers "Sun Is Shining" rhythm)" were all cut for Dodd. The eleventh song is "Babylon Burning" (from 1982 and another rural spiced track) was produced and engineered by Jarrett at Channel One. The following track called "Dub On Natty" (1979) was produced by Jarrett and engineered by the great King Tubby at Channel One with the Wailers on instruments. Follows "Must Be A Revolution" (1979), again with the Wailers as backing band, and produced and engineered by Jarrett at Harry J's. Tracks fourteen and fifteen are the stellar "Humble Yourself" and "Your Love Is Heaven". Both come from 1979, the Wailers back again and were produced and engineered by Jarrett at Channel One. Follows "Your Dub Is Heaven" and "Humble Dub", both from 1979 were produced by Jarrett and engineered by the King Tubby at Channel One. The first disc closes with "Should Have Dubbed Me" (1975), cut for Dodd. Disc two opens with "Wiseman", "Rocking Vibration" and "Sleeping In The Park". All tracks come from the "Wiseman" album from 1979. This set was produced by Roy Cousins (founder of The Royals), mixed by Scientist and engineered by Crucial Bunny (also known as Anthony Graham, Bunny Graham or Bunny Tom Tom). The instrumentals were cut at Channel One, and later mixed and voiced at King Tubby's. As we will see the present collection compiles six tracks from that set. Here follows the entire playlist of that album: "Never Love Again", "Wise Man", "Pyaaka", "I'm Hurting Inside", "Sleeping In The Park", "Rocking Vibration", "I Shen Galore", "Tired Of The System", "Mash Down Babylon" and "Badness". Coming back to the second disc of the compilation the fouth song is "Come Down Zacchius". This track comes from the "Kingston Vibrations" album from 1991. That set was produced by Jarrett and Prince Jazzbo. Follows "Satisfy My Soul" (versioning the Wailers famous song). The track is taken from the "Solid Foundation" album from 1991. That set was produced by GG Ranglin and engineered by Rohan Richards, Karl Topping, Junior Edwards and G. Bravo. Tracks six and seven are "Ishen Galore" and "Tired Of The System". Both tracks come from the "Wiseman" album. Follows "True Born African" in its original version from 1972 cut at Dynamic Sound Studio. This song is reprised in the following track with the same title and comes from the "Kingston Vibrations" set. The tenth song is the slow and meditative "Haile Selassie Is The Chapel" taken from the 1995 "Too Many Boundries" album. The lyrics of this song were written by Mortimer Planno (please see the Books section of Yardie Reggae). The set was produced by Jarrett and engineered by G. Bravo and Sylvan Morris. Follows "Too Many Boundaries" taken from the set with same title. This track really resembles Burning Spear's style. The twelveth and thirteenth songs are "Selah" and "Roots Rock Reggae", again taken from "Kingston Vibrations". Follows two tracks from "Solid Foundation": the title track and "Dread Natty Reggae" (both again resembling Burning). The sixteenth song is a version of Peter Tosh's "Downpressor Man", here re-titled "Judgement". The track is taken from the 1995 "Too Many Boundries" album. Follows "Zacchius Dub", the Dub version of "Come Down Zacchius", from the "Kingston Vibrations" album. The second disc closes with "Badness" from the "Wiseman" set. So here we are. It is always difficult to comment and therefore judge a compilation. Good or bad it still remains a collection and the policy of this site is on trying to give the deserved attention more to the original sets than to the compilations. But as with this case they are more than welcomed as a starting point to understand who is the artist involved. Well, personally I found much more interesting the first disc than the second. About the second the sounds are of course from a different era of the Jamaican music, but I did not find so many high peaks. With no doubts Winston Jarrett is not maybe one of the main and big milestones of Reggae but his contribution to it was in any case enormous. I hope to come back commenting more. In the meanwhile here you can find more than a few stellar tunes.