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Boris Gardiner - Every nigger is a star

October 6th, 2011

Boris Gardiner - Every Nigger Is a StarBORIS GARDINER

  • Every nigger is a star
  • Leal
  • 1973
  • Jamaica

I have to say that when I first became aware of this record, I thought the name was at least a little bit controversially dubious. And it still is even though the n-word has established as a some kind of a ghetto standard. Every nigger is a star is a soundtrack to a totally forgotten 1973 Jamaican movie starring blaxploitation-smoochie Calvin Lockhart of West-Indian heritage. They propably tried to turn the meaning of the n-word upside down for the black population of Jamaica with this movie to make it more positive term. The film however flopped and sank into obscurity - maybe for good reasons.

Even though the movie more or less disappeared from the earth, the soundtrack didn’t. Handful of copies survived and were the grails of some hardcore collectors until last year, when Jazzman finally reissued the whole soundtrack. West Indian born Boris Gardiner made the whole soundtrack together with his brother Barrington Gardiner. The music is played by Boris’ band The Boris Gardiner Happening. It’s a fine cross-section of 1970s Jamaican music scene. The music varies from smooth soul ballads to sweet reggae songs and from Caribbean jazziness to heavyweight funk. The acoustic title track “Every nigger is a star” is a fine example the smooth side of the Gardiners. Uptempo classic “Ghetto funk” and downtempo “Funky nigger” instead represent the heavy Jamaican funk at it’s best. The great Caribbean jazz-funk track “Negril” is also worth to mention. For further reading, Boris Gardiner talks about the title track in an interview on The Gleaner.


Funky nigger


Ghetto funk


Negril

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under caribbean, disco, funk, jazzfunk, reggae, soul, soundtrack | No Comments »

Upsetters - Eastwood rides again

January 5th, 2011

Upsetters - Eastwood rides againUPSETTERS

  • Eastwood rides again
  • Trojan
  • 1970
  • Jamaica

Upsetters was a studio band of Lee “Scratch” Perry that was formed in 1968. It’s quite hard to find any infos about the musicians on this album, but supposingly the line-up consists of former The Hippy Boys members Alva “Reggie” Lewis (guitar), Aston “Family Man” Barrett (bass), Carlton Barrett (drums) and Glen Adams (organ). The musicians were changing constantly and there was three major line-ups. The Hippy Boys line-up was the second one formed for the Lee Perry’s European tour in 1969.

By the cover you can maybe assume that the album is about Jamaican reworks of old western themes. The title and the cover picture indicate a close relation to some Ennio Morricone type of stuff. But what do you know. Nothing. All the songs - except one - are instrumental reggae tracks strongly influenced by soul, funk and rhythm n’ blues. The only vocal track is “Baby baby”, credited to saxophonist Val Bennet. The album is a collection of tracks produced by Perry with his unique experimentation on new sounds and recording techniques. And there’s no weak songs at all. For example the haunting title track along the funky “Power pack”, “Red hot”, “Tight spot” and the Eddie Floyd cover “Knock on wood”. On this album is also the frantic drum frenzy “Popcorn” that is well known from the dancefloors. Eastwood rides again is clearly one of the funkiest albums that ever came from Jamaica.


Popcorn


Power pack


Red hot


Tight spot


Knock on wood

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under caribbean, funk, reggae | No Comments »
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