New Scroll
Cornell Campbell
Zion High Productions
June 30, 2013

New Scroll - Cornel Campbell Track list
  1. New Scroll
  2. Weed Out Vampires
  3. Evil Woman
  4. People
  5. Seek Jah Love
  6. Chant It Out
  7. Gun Powder
  8. Walking In The Rain
  9. Jah Highway
  10. New Scroll Dub
  11. People Dub
  12. Weed Out Vampires Dub
  13. Seek Jah Love Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
When you follow a legendary Jamaican music icon's career; one album comes along and just hit's home - this IS the one! For this reviewer, it was Cornell Campbell's "Follow Instructions", from the early 1980's. It made a bonafide believer out of this reviewer! Was this the apex of Cornell's career? No way! The "Original Gorgon" has outdone himself with a brand new classic, "New Scroll". This coincides with the ten year anniversary of Zion High Productions; the collective growth of Zion High Productions/I Grade/Lustre Kings, who have all been responsible for keeping a classic Roots Reggae formula on par with these times.

Born November 23, 1945 in Kingston, Jamaica, Cornell entered the music business at the tender age of 11. Legendary trombonist Rico Rodriquez took the youth to Clement Dodd and "My Treasure" was the eye opening first effort. He developed further into the 1960's in dynamic fashion. He shined in the Ska era with The Skatalites and then to Duke Reid's Treasure Isle as part of The Sensations. He continued with The Eternals and then with The Uniques (a group that he reunited again in the late 70's and 90's). By 1971, he emerged as a solo artist with a long association with Bunny Lee. His self-titled debut (Trojan, 1973) was the first of many masterpieces. The hits kept on coming with such classics as "Stars", "The Gorgon" and "Natural Fact". The late 70's saw him in more of a Lover's vein. In 1980, he moved on to Joe Gibbs and had a massive hit, "Boxing"(1982). The aforementioned "Follow Instructions" and "Money" were recorded soon after. The 90's were more quiet for Cornell, but his popularity never waned. He shined bright on "Big Things" (Don One, 2000) and "Rock My Soul" (Sip A Cup, 2008). Cornell is back and a new scroll is unraveled...

"New Scroll" has all the ingredients of "The Golden Age" in every sense. The immaculate and truly organic riddims and production style are provided by the uber-talented musicians/engineers who set the modern Roots sound most recently on the critically acclaimed "Masterpiece" by Glen Washington and "Original Yard Food" by General Jah Mikey. Drums are provided by Bay Area legend Wadi Gad, Aston Barrett Jr, Jr. Richards and Horseman. The able bassie is JAH David. Keys are bubbled by Laurent "Tippy I" Alfred, Noel Aiken and Peter Pan. Brilliant guitar from JAH Oil, JAH D, and Andrew "Moon" Bain. Massive horn section of Donald Toney and Dereck Harris. As always, impeccable production and mix by Tippy I, JAH Oil, JAH D, Moon and Gary Woung.

The title track sets the tone for the entire album. Cornell's ethereal falsetto floats over a totally engaging riddim that boasts progressive horns, guitar and absolute magic from Wadi Gad. Cornell's voice is as heartfelt and sweet as decades ago as he craftfully educates us about Life's mystery, ode to The Most High and just spiritual atmosphere. Brilliant!! Weed Out Vampires is an instant Modern Roots classic. Tippy I's key intro and Wadi's drumming set the stage for Cornell as he vows to stamp out wickedness. He has always been the voice of the sufferah, the lover, the broken hearted and the triumphant. It's no different here; as almost six decades of singing will do!!!! Evil Woman sounds like his finest work from the 70's. His poetic skills come true on this one. A truly killer riddim peppered with Horseman's rimshots, soothing backing vox from Chet Samuels and percussion from Norman "Twinkle Brother" Grant. People is a hypnotizing piece that has a Wailers riddim feel to it. Aston Barrett Jr's unique drumming and Moon's guitar work exemplify this. Cornell uses this opportunity to the max and we are told of tolerance of his passion and tolerance for humanity.

Seek Jah Love shines so bright. His falsetto floats down from the mists of Mt. Zion and he tells us about the Glory of His Majesty and the need to seek it out. A powerful, powerful poetic work over a subtle riddim that fits so nice. Chant It Out is a Niyabinghi driven masterpiece that reminds us of Bob Marley's "Rastaman Chant", but in Cornell's unique fashion. A flawless song that WILL stir your soul. Gun Powder is the standout selection here. Reminding us about the bad influences of drugs and the need to guide the youth, Cornell will have your full attention. The horn section and superior musicianmanship is so crisp and organic; it's almost surreal. This song is now in Cornell's Top Ten songs of all time. Walking In The Rain uses a tried and trusted riddim that has worked so well for Glen Washington and General Jah Mikey. It does the same here; Cornell utilizes it into a classic Love song that will have you hanging on to his every word. JAH Highway is a Roots gem that totally progressive. His delivery is kingly in character, fe sure. We are treated to four Dub excursions that stay in original Dub tradition (thank you). New Scroll Dub is carefully dubbed and allows the listener to absorb the pure talent of these musicians. People Dub and Weed Out Vampires Dub are exciting and don't go overboard or "soundlogged". Seek Jah Love Dub is a brilliant closer and is given a clever and subtle treatment.

2013 has been a great year for Foundation artists on the concept of "not fade away". "New Scroll" will exceed all expectations that you may have. Cornell Campbell has delivered in virtually all facets of Jamaican music; one of the best falsetto voices to ever come outta Yard. This is his best work in decades and you will be a bonafide believer when you get your copy. DON'T MISS OUT. Max raspect to Ras Elliot Leib for his project coordination and making sure classic Roots Reggae stays alive and true. Highest recommendation possible. GO DEH!!!!!!!