Gee Records
12" Single / Digital Release
November 28, 2016

Artist & tune
  • Soul Sugar feat. Leonardo Carmichael - Why Can't We Live Together (Discomix Version) / Why Can't We Live Together (Dennis Bovell Dub)
Overall rating : (1 to 5 stars)   
Gee Recordings was founded by Guillaume "Gee" Metenier (organist/keyboard player/producer/arranger-studio/live musician) mixing psychedelic soul jazz funk and early reggae, he collaborates with an all star cast of musician from Paris and all over the world, and uses Soul Sugar as the household band name. Traveling the world with his mentor Dr Lonnie Smith, Gee went to Kingston in 2015 and developed a close collaboration with Jamaican singers such as Courtney John and Leonard Carmichael. He produced Courtney John's singles "All I Know" and "Strangers", which opened the doors to other artists under the Gee flag.

The first collaboartion with rather unknown Jamaican singer Leonardo Carmichael is a rendition of Timmy Thomas' 1973 hit song "Why Can't We Live Together". The original song - a sparse, stripped-down production, which featured only a Lowrey organ and percussion from an early riddim machine - has been covered by many artists, including Mike Anthony, Sade, Joan Osborne, Steve Winwood and Maria Muldaur. Recorded at various locations in Paris and at 7 Long Lane Studios in Kingston Jamaica and dubbed by the great Dennis Bovell at Boogie Back studios in London, this irresistable tune is another proof of a throwback being a great way to get out in the reggae business.

Leonardo Carmichael grew up as a drummer and a singer in churches. Through a mutual friend, he met Nastassja Hammond aka The Wizard, daughter of Beres Hammond, with whom he started writing and releasing music for various artists including Courtney John and Kreesha Turner. He himself also recorded and released a few songs including "Crazy", "Babygirl" and "Touch It", but that went unnoticed outside Jamaica. That can change with the release of this collaboration with The Soul Sugar crew which consists of Jahno on drums and syndrums, Thomas Naim on guitar, and Guillaume "Gee" Metenier on hammond organ, piano, minimoog & synth bass. They have refurbished the mesmerizing riddim in a sublime way, providing Leonardo Carmichael the perfect backdrop for his passionate, soulful vocal delivery. To present it as an extended Discomix is a good move as this tune, with a message more relevant today than ever, gets you in a vibe and mood that you want to preserve as long as possible. Add to this Dennis Bovell's very entertaining dub version and it's obvious you're in for a treat.

A worthwhile addition to Gee Recordings' growing catalogue.