Kingdom - Tuesday, December 23,
Musical Year In
Brief - What a year
was a growing and productive year for Caribbean music.
The COLUMBUS riddim, originally done by
Burning Spear was versioned by the cream-of-the-crop of Reggae's artists: Beres
Hammond, Lloyd Brown, Al Campbell, Peter Hunnigale, Gregory Isaacs, Don
Campbell, Horace Andy and others; who carried us from 2002 into
Talking about LLOYD BROWN; many
have rated him as the top British Reggae artist, having made impressive reviews
in Miami, New York, Los Angeles and many other cities worldwide. He had 2 big UK
and US hits with "Bless Me" (Baby Why riddim) & "Main Squeeze" (Columbus
riddim). He also jointly shares Ital-K's choice for ALBUM OF THE YEAR for
"Against The Grain" with BURNING SPEAR's
Canada produced some quality
tunes. GARNET CHALLENGER & Carib Records in Ottawa, SONIA COLLYMORE &
XeS enjoyed success with her winning Canadian Grammy hit "Breathe". There was
also great works from the DMI Music Group in Toronto featuring the "Heartache"
riddim with LEROY BROWN, GLEN WASHINGTON, and NANA McLEAN's Canadian Grammy hit
"Got To Move On".
From the UK, BRIAN
& TONY GOLD gained huge amounts of respect for "Irresistible". TIPPA IRIE
kept the dancehall vibes alive with successful mini-US tours. MACKA-B produced a
boom album "By Royale Command", full of conscious vibes! He also produced and
toasted a militant tribute to patois, the language of Jamaica called
appropriately "Jamaican" on the "Columbus" riddim. THRILLA JENNA & SISTA
(13-piece all female band) produced a crucial winner with "Focus".
Jamaican reggae artists continued to
shine. BERES HAMMOND is unquestionably Reggae's top draw with continuous sellout
concerts at a top dollar price.. MIKEY SPICE made bodies sway with his rendition
of Luther Vandross's "Dance With My Mother". MARCIA GRIFFITHS made South
Africa's Miriam Makeba proud with "Pata Pata". THIRD WORLD "Ain't Giving Up",
BUJU BANTON "Friends For Life", SEAN PAUL "Dutty Rock", WAYNE WONDER "No Letting
Go", and BURNING SPEAR "Freeman" were all nominated for the Best Reggae Album
for the 2003 Grammy Awards.
bashment scene made significant inroads into the American pop/R & B markets.
Grammy-nominated SEAN PAUL "Dutty Rock", RED RAT, WAYNE WONDER "No Letting Go",
ELEPHANT MAN "Good To Go" with his hits: "Signal De Plane" and "Pon De River"
all made prime-time visits to major American music
The passing of the
"Foundation Raggamuffin" SCOTTY left a gaping hole in our hearts with his
untimely passing. The bobo-dread SIZZLA enjoyed worldwide acclaim for his album
"Da Real Thing"; the authentic roots touch from Bobby Digital was the
difference. The Marley family was right there in the runnings. BOB MARLEY's DVD
release of "Legend" is a must-have. ZIGGY MARLEY's crossover hit "True To
Myself" from the album "Butterfly"; "Raggamuffin" STEPHEN MARLEY'S tribute to
Stevie Wonder with "Master Blaster" created waves; and talking about Marley;
Bob's hits continue to be THE FOUNDATION of today's hits.
The "Screwface" riddim spent 10 months
on Clint Oneil's and Ital-K's charts. Wat-a-riddim-nice!!!
Reworked to perfection by South Florida
based Willie Lindo and Heavybeat Records, the album "Tun It Up" is a must! GLEN
WASHINGTON "I Found Me A Love", BRENT DOWE "That Little Girl", KASHIEF LINDO "No
Show", and who can forget South Florida's and Ital's tune courtesy of AL
CAMPBELL "Nah Sorry Fi Dem......(sing with me now!!)" JACKIE ROBINSON, former
lead singer from the 60's group "The Pioneers" found his magic touch with
"Bamboo Tree" on the brilliant album "Power of Love".
Rootically, the strength continues to
pour out of the foundation. CULTURE's "World Peace", BURNING SPEAR's "Freeman",
MORGAN HERITAGE'S "Three In One", GONDWANA's (Santiago Chile) "Made in Jamaica",
NASIO's (Dominica) "Living In The Positive,"TOOTS & THE MAYTALS's "World Is
Turning", MIKEY DREAD's "Rasta In Control", FREDDIE MCGREGOR's "Heart Is
Willing" all rose to the surface. If dubwise is your thing, GREGORY ISAACS's
"Dub A de Number One", JACKIE MITTOO's "Champion In The Arena", DEAN FRASER's
"Sax Of Life", VIVIAN JONES's "Big Leaders In Dub' all quench that spiritual
thirst for authentic drum-and-bass.
Rupee, Denise Belfon, Super P, Kevin
Little, Burning Flames, Square One, David Rudder were exceptional in keeping
that Soca fire burning.
2003, a good year
for our music. With music firmly as our identity, we continue to make deeper
inroads into the many music markets and genres worldwide. Let's hope the
momentum continues into
& Co-Host of "Sounds of the Caribbean" WLRN 91.3fm Miami