| ||The Small Axe Guide to Instrumentalists|
featuring album reviews on bands, bass players, drummers, keyboard players.
| ||Book Review: By |
John Williams Of
One Drop Reggae Assoc.
'The Small Axe Guide To Instrumentalists'
When was the last time that, after reading a book like this, you felt inclined to search for or dig out some of these scorching platters, then spin them on the wheels of steel, or slip them onto the lasers of a Cd player's tray to dance your troubles away?
Because that's how you could well feel after you get to grips with such a small but rich selective array of unsung,veteran reggae musicians from Bongo Herman, who regally graces the cover, to virtuosos previously blipped off the radar, from the likes of up and coming names such as Dominican flutist Free Joseph.
Also paying homage to true original classics from established names and legends, the accompanying text touches on the importance of some of those listed the history of reggae.
Ray's labour of love also goes on to convey the thematic approach and a relevance to certain albums which, at the time of their original issue of intent, were sadly ignored or overlooked.
A thoroughly enthusiastic companion to the five book concept which includes 'Small Axe Guides' to Bands and Vocal Groups, Singers, Deejays and producers.
|Book Review - |
"The Small Axe Guide To Instumentalists" is the next handy little guide in Ray Hurford's worthwhile "Small Axe Guides" series of books. After previously having published guides to "Singers", "Deejays", "Producers", and "Bands & Vocal Groups", there's now "The Small Axe Guide To Instumentalists" - the fifth guide from a project that started in 1996 when Ray published the "The Small Axe Guide To Singers". Besides the aforementioned five guides, this project was extended with guides that focus on notable eras in the history of Jamaica's popular music and included "Rock Steady", "Reggae 68-70", "Dub", "Roots 71-75", and "Rockers (Part 1)". This new guide puts the spotlight on -- sometimes criminally overlooked -- great instrumentalists in reggae music. Not as one probably might expect by including a biography of each and every instrumentalist featured in the guide, but by means of reviews of their music releases.
The latter is actually the main concept of the very useful "Small Axe Guides": the history of Jamaica's popular music told through reviews of music releases. It implies that you can't expect these books to be complete, because it simply ain't possible to cover everything that has been put out. That's why these books are rightly called "Guide". All the books are a labour of love and the costs -- when you purchase one directly from Ray Hurford -- are kept extremely low in order to give as many people as possible the opportunity to get a copy.
This new 140-page A5 paperbook features reviews of music from 22 bands, 8 bass players, 2 drummers, 1 flutist, 8 guitarists, 2 harmonica players, 12 keyboard players, 8 melodica players, 1 pan player, 1 percussionist, 15 producers, 10 saxophonists, 6 trombonists, 7 trumpeters and 1 violin player, which are accompanied by photos and graphics.
Featured are reviews of (selected) albums from widely known and well known instrumentalists such as Augustus Pablo, Dean Fraser, Tommy McCook, Ernest Ranglin, The Hippy Boys, Steely & Clevie, The Revolutionaries, Earl 'Chinna' Smith, Sly & Robbie, Sound Dimension, The Skatalites, Roots Radics, Jackie Mittoo, Now Generation, Don Drummond, Lynn Taitt & The Jets and many more. But, as we've learned from the previous guides, Ray Hurford also pays attention to those who are lesser known to a wide public, which is truly praiseworthy as it might cause an interest in these instrumentalists and their music. And thus there are writings about people such as Charlie Hunter, King Duke, Goldmaster All Stars, Mystic Red Corporation, Sons Of Mystro, Free Joseph and Mighty Jamma. It's obvious that "The Small Axe Guide To Instrumentalists" -- just like all the other guides in the series -- simply is a must-have for any reggae fan.