Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Oscar Peterson 1925-2007

You wouldn't know it by looking at my blog but I am a fan of jazz and moments ago I just learned of the passing of an all-time great and one of my personal favorites on Sunday... this busy pre-Christmas weekend got in the way of my keeping in touch with the latest news.

Oscar Peterson was an unbelievable talent and a true master...

R.I.P. Oscar Peterson

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Complete Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Christmas Mix 2007

Here it is in its entirety... the complete uncut Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Christmas Mix 2007. With a running time of an hour and twenty five minutes I think you're going to have a hard time fitting it on one CDR but if you listen on your computer or on an MP3 player it shouldn't be an issue.

Best Wishes Everyone! See you in 2008!

The Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Christmas Mix 2007

Just Added!

The Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Christmas Mix 2007 - CD sized mix!

(I had to cut out five tracks but I burned off a couple copies yesterday and I finally got it to fit!)

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Christmas Mix 2007 - Part 3

I've got 5 additional tunes to add some extra sparkle to your ears this Holiday season. And without a lot of fanfare I present to you the final installment of this years Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Christmas Mix!

Peter Broggs starts off the proceedings with his tune "Twelve Days Of Christmas" from the 1984 various artists album RAS Records Presents A Reggae Christmas. It's a good tune!

Next up is a bit of a ghetto reality check from Barrington Levy and his tune "Christmas Day" from his Junjo Lawes produced album from 1979 Shine Eye Gal on the Burning Sounds label. This song isn't exactly festive considering Levy recounts how he got robbed by some "rude boys" on Christmas Day but he does add an element of hope wishing that Jah may teach those who robbed him the error of their ways.

Up next is a ska-scorcher and one of my all-time favorite Jamaican Christmas tunes! It's the Wailers at Studio One with the song "Sound The Trumpet." This one is available on the 1992 Heartbeat release Reggae Christmas From Studio One and it never fails to put me in a festive mood!

The fourth track is also one of my favorites! Inna rub-a-dub style it's the man Little John and his tune from 1984 called "Save A Little For Christmas" from a 7" on the Junjo label. I'd never heard this song before this November and I was immediately rewarded when I picked up a nice clean copy at a fair price. Usually I'll find a song that I'd like to buy and spend the next year obsessively searching for it so I take it as a bonus that it came so easy! I hope you like it as much as I do!

The fifth and final track in the mix is taken from the King Jammy's Christmas Party album on the Jammy's label and it's by the man Ernest Wilson. A nice succinct way for me to personally express my warm wishes to all those who have been enjoying what I do here. It's called "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and its not the traditional version you'd expect.

Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Christmas Mix - Part 3

I will be upping the entire uncut mix this Friday so that you can try and cram it all on one CDR for your last minute gift giving needs. It does make for a fine Christmas gift and to think you got it here for free! :-)

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, a healthy and prosperous New Year, good tidings, God's blessings and lots of love.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Christmas Mix 2007 - Part 2

Sorry for the delay... I wanted to get part 2 uploaded yesterday but I couldn't find the time. The closer we get to Christmas the more hectic things are getting... can you imagine?!

I hope every one is getting geared up for the Big Day and not blowing their retirement on keeping everyone happy. I've got 2 small kids and thankfully their shopping is done with minimal damage!

Let's get to the music! Starting off this portion of the mix we've got a festive one from Al and the Vibrators called simply "Merry Christmas" and comes to us from the various artists CD called A Jamaican Christmas. I think you'll like this one!

The second track is by the man Lloyd Lovindeer with a tune called "It's Christmas Time Again" from his mid-80's era album Caribbean Christmas Cheer on the TSOJ label. Surprisingly Lovindeer doesn't resort to his usual beloved comedic style anywhere in this track or on this album but nonetheless it's a pretty decent reggae Christmas album.

Next up is the keyboard king himself, Mr. Jackie Mittoo, and a moody piece called "Joy Joy" taken from the Studio One LP Christmas In Jamaica - Greeting From The Leading Stars Of JA. It starts off slow but once the rhythm kicks in you'll be guaranteed of a groovin' tune!

The next song is by the British reggae group The Cimarons and it's called "Holy Christmas." It comes to us from the various artists CD called The Reggae Christmas Collection on the Pulse label. Another smooth tune!

The DJ by the name of Ringo gives us our next Yuletide treat. From the 70's era Dobby Dobson Christmas LP called Sweet Christmas on the Top Ranking label it's a tune called appropriately "Christmas Time." This is also the album that I've been waiting for since mid-November so it's good to see it finally got here!!

Little Kirk is up next inna dancehall style with the tune "Gee Whiz" from the Black Solidarity/Tuff Gong release called Rub-A-Dub Christmas from 1985. A wicked tune with Kirk riding the timeless Taxi riddim. If you've spent any time on my blog you know that I'm a huge rub-a-dub era fan and this one definitely hits the spot!

Up next is one of reggae's finest vocal talents and a huge favorite of mine Half Pint and the song called "Christmas Vibes." This is the title track from another Studio One various artists Christmas release and it doesn't disappoint. Half Pint is voicing over another classic riddim - this time the one called Real Rock! Nice vibes!

Gregory "The Cool Ruler" Isaacs is up next with his take on the Irving Berlin holiday classic "White Christmas." Bing Crosby's 1942 version is probably my all-time favorite non-reggae Christmas song and Gregory's take is pretty high on my list of favorites as well. The song comes from the 1989 Various Artists album called Blue Mountain Christmas Party on the Blue Mountain label.

Following up "White Christmas" is a track that works well with the Christmas season though it isn't specifically a Christmas song. It's called "Winter World Of Love" and comes to us from John Holt's 1977 release on the Trojan label called 3000 Volts Of Holt. I put this song, originally written and sung by Engelbert Humperdinck of all people, in the same category as "Baby It's Cold Outside" and "Winter Wonderland"... romantic and wintry with no real mention of the actual holiday.

Finally we wrap up this portion of the mix with the sweet sounds of Sugar Minott from the aforementioned A Jamaican Christmas compilation and the song called "Christmas Jamboree." The tune was originally released by Coxsone's Studio One as a single in 1977 which I have but doesn't sound too good - so I took the cleaner CD version. The B-side is also pretty wicked but the quality isn't blogable.

Stay tuned for next weeks final 5 tracks - there are some good tunes rounding out this year's mix!

Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Christmas Mix 2007 - Part 2

And as always... comments are appreciated!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Christmas Mix 2007 - Part 1

Here we go again... it's Christmas time and the goose is getting fat and all that jazz. Now it's time to get ready for some festive Jamaican Christmas tunes to liven up your Yuletide season! If you were here last December you'll know what to expect and if you're new I think you'll enjoy what I've put together for you. 10 songs today, 25 in total, that'll add some Caribbean spice to the bland diet of tired holiday tunes that we get force fed every year once December rolls around. I could go on and complain about how the retailers throw Christmas in our faces sooner and sooner each year but I won't... I'm keeping it festive!

So without further ado let's get to the Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Christmas Mix 2007!

We start off this year's festivities with Jacob Miller, not to be confused with Dickens' Jacob Marley, proclaiming his one wish to Santa Claus. I'm not going to tell you what that is but if you know Miller you've probably already guessed. The song is called appropriately, "All I Want For Ismas," and comes from the best reggae Christmas album ever produced Natty Christmas.

We follow that up with Horace Andy and his tune "Christmas Time" which comes to us from a various artists compilation called A Jamaican Christmas.

The third tune is a "mash-up" of sorts - the Aggrovators dub version of Johnny Clarke's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" combined with an early 1960's kiddie record adaptation of the no budget "holiday classic" film Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. I put this together last year and was able to condense the entire 20 minute read-along story into the 3:00 dub track. Definitely wacky but I think you'll dig it.

The fourth track is courtesy of the Kingstonians, a song from 1967 called "Merry Christmas" and taken from the essential Trojan Christmas Box Set - it's a good one.

Following that up we take a turn for the digital and hear a King Jammy's produced tune from Cocoa Tea on the Kuff riddim called, "Please Come For Christmas." This one come from the album Christmas Party from 1989 on the Jammys Records label.

, of all people, follows up Cocoa Tea's pleasant musings with a "grinchy" reality check. His tune is called "Postpone Christmas" and comes from the 1985 various artists album High Times All-Star Explosion on the High Times label. I have been looking for this song for years and thanks to the miracle of the internet I was finally able to track it down at the end of October! The song is not thematically keeping with the rest of the tunes but I think Muta's perspective helps make this mix a little more well-rounded.

Taking a trip to Studio One for the next tune... Brent Dowe gives us "Christmas In Jamaica" from the excellent 1992 CD compilation Reggae Christmas From Studio One on the Heartbeat label.

Up next is a single from 1976 on the Wild Flowers label from the man named Steve Golding and it's called "Strictly Rock Christmas." Golding wasn't known for his vocals but more for his work behind the scenes in the late 70's and throughout the 8o's by providing guitar work for albums by Rita Marley and Peter Tosh, to name a couple.

The ninth song in this mix is by Kashief Lindo and though it's more modern than most the stuff you'll hear on the blog, it's a great rendition of a beautiful song originally recorded by Stevie Wonder in 1967 called "Someday At Christmas." This song always brings tears to my eyes no matter who is singing it and Lindo's take doesn't disappoint. It comes from a 2005 various artists set called The Reggae Christmas Collection on the Pulse label.

Finally the last track, in this part of the mix that is, is a ska tune from 1963 by Frank Cosmo called simply "Merry Christmas." It is also available on the aforementioned Trojan set.

Give part 1 a listen and let me know what you think! Part 2 will follow next week!

Distinctly Jamaican Sound Christmas Mix 2007 Part 1

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