Eye To Eye
Irie Ites Records
May 27, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Twenty years after his 1993 released album "Big Big Man", veteran deejay Trinity returns with a brand new 14-track album entitled "Eye To Eye". A virtual who's who of reggae music is featured on the latter: in addition to Trinity himself, there's Prince Alla, Dennis Brown, Mighty Diamonds, Gregory Isaacs, Tony Tuff, Max Romeo, Barrington Levy, and Leroy Sibbles, to name only eight.
Trinity (born Wade Everald Brammer) recorded his first single for 1976 for producer Joseph Hookim of Channel One, although Derrick Harriott claims that he recorded his very first number called "Owner Fi Di Yard" for him. However it was for producer Joe Gibbs that he made his breakthrough in 1977 with the hit single "Three Piece Suit". Hard on the heels of this very successful single came a spate of other popular numbers and his first-ever LP, predictably under the title "Three Piece Suit". In the late '70s and early '80s some ten LP's came out on regular intervals and most of them sold considerably well. This was undeniable proof of Trinity's unwavering popularity in those days. Sometime around 1987 put out two vocal albums ("Hold Your Corner" and "Telephone Line") under the pseudonym Junior Brammer.
After the "Intro" done by the inimitable Joe Lickshot, it's the combination with Prince Alla entitled "Bad Boy" that kicks off this "Eye To Eye" set in great style. This track appeared on a 2011 released 10inch vinyl single and is underpinned by a relick of the Uniques' "My Conversation" riddim from 1968, laid by Mafia & Fluxy, Bongo Herman and 'Chinna' Smith who called it the "Bucket Bottom" riddim (probably because Prince Alla used the riddim for his 1978 scorcher "Bucket Bottom"). Other tracks previously released on 10inch or 7inch vinyl include the solid "Liar Is A Thief" with Beres Hammond, the real nice "Tribute To Gregory Isaacs" on the "Soon Forward" riddim by The Tamlins, Naggo Morris, Trinity & Dillinger, and the strong "Tenemant Yard", a new version of "Su Su Pon Rasta" with Naggo Morris.
With so many well respected veteran artists collaborating with Trinity, it's not a real surprise that this album is packed with great tunes from beginning to end. The reworkings of the classic riddims (a trademark of Irie Ites Records) are impeccable and simply sound great, and also vocally this set caresses the eardrums. "Genocide" is a wicked new version of Barrington Levy's "Murderer", while the extended deejay version of Cornell Campbell's "Jah Jah Man" is an awesome modern roots anthem. The late reggae icons Gregory Isaacs and Dennis Brown are present on "Irie Collie" and the outstanding "African Princess" respectively. Both tunes, licensed from Roy Francis' Mixing Lab label, are new combination versions of Gregory Isaacs' "Enough Is Enough" and a Dennis Brown song of which we unfortunately can't figure out its title. Studio One is revisited with a remake of John Holt's "Strange Things" called "Love Is Like A Candy", while the Mighty Diamonds' "One Brother Short" (Channel One, 1979) re-appears as "Killin Killin". And Yabby You & The Prophets' "Run Come Rally" from 1979 is revived by Tony Tuff & Trinity's "Jah Time Now".
French label Irie Ites' collaboration with Trinity began in 2007 and has now led to the release of an extraordinary album, which shouldn't be ignored by anyone who loves the sound from the heydays of reggae.