Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Sly & Robbie Present Stepper Takes The Taxi
Stepper & Taxi Gang
Taxi
CD
April 9, 2013

Sly & Robbie Present Stepper Takes The Taxi - Stepper + Taxi Gang Track list
  1. Fistful Of Horns
  2. Occupy Downtown
  3. Frenchman In Kingston
  4. Taxi To Paris
  5. Stepping Revolution
  6. Cool Ruling
  7. Taxi Tune Up
  8. Horns Of Kings
  9. Imminent Danger
  10. Pimp My Cab
  11. Matera Lounge
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Anytime you see the "Sly & Robbie" imprint on a release, you're in for a good ride. That's certainly the case with the Riddim Twins latest project. A rightfully deserved showcase of longtime Taxi Gang member Guillaume "Stepper" Briard, whose sax work is top ranking. This brand new release has legs, so a ride in this "TAXI" goes the distance with no bumps.

Stepper is a Paris based musician who honed his musical stylings during the 1980's with various European bands. Skilled in a broad range of instrumentation, the saxophone is his forte. Jamaica was calling and during his visit, he met numerous luminaries with whom he would soon tour, produce and record with. Talking about Horace Andy, Cornell Campbell, Justin Hinds, Jamaica All Stars, Alton Ellis and many more. Sly & Robbie took notice of his rising talent and he became an ifficial member in 2000. Mr. Briard furthered his career by writing and producing some prolific albums soon after. U-Roy's "Now" (2001), Horace Andy's "Mek It Bun" (2002) and "Livin' It Up" (2007), and two great albums for Omar (Lee's son) Perry - "Man Free" and "Can't Stop Us". He is in constant demand in studio and stage. Recent highlights include him backing The Gaylads (w/Roots Harmonics Band) at 2012's Garance Reggae Fest and backing Omar and Kiddus I w/HomeGrown Band. Now, it's Stepper time!!!

His first solo effort is a dream come true. Sly & Robbie allowed him to pick any riddim from their vast vault and helped to create some monster new riddims. Of course, this entailed the unity of the entire Taxi Gang and support from Didier Bolay and "Bim" Dessus. The wicked mix was engineered by rising Dubmaster Fabwise. All the elements of something special. Fistful Of Horns is strictly bubbling! An "Unmetered Taxi" style riddim with Stepper taking full control. He has a full range of emotion; from Jazzy overtones to Jerry Johnson like approach. Wicked sound fx to fill it in. Occupy Downtown takes us down memory lane just right. The Riddim Twins are Reggae's premier drum and bass section, fe real. Stepper rides this riddim with authority; adding some nice melodica riffs over Ansel Collins' seasoned organ. Frenchman In Kingston is top grade! The "Baltimore" riddim is transformed to another level. This man can interpret music and adds his touch in all the right places. Once again, melodica and sax are his ammunition. What a boomshot. Standout selection is Taxi To Paris. It shows the raw emotion of Stepper's talent. Nambo and The Taxi Gang are in full operation on this yah one!

Cool Ruling is the monster "Revolution" riddim that Dennis Emmanuel Brown rode so many years ago. It's brought back to life in a vital way. Stepper transforms it into something beyond comprehension. Nuff raspect to his interpretation of such a dynamic riddim that is a chapter in Jamaican music. Taxi Tune Up is a raw skanker that deserves instant rewind. A straightforward Rocker with Robbie Lyn adding his subtle and classic piano and Stepper juggling melodica and sax duties with ease. Horns Of Kings is a riddim that first showed up on "Sly/Robbie Presents Chezidek" and it's ites to hear it again. It gets a Rootsier gloss here with Sticky and Skully on percussion and Stepper and crew attending to an Aswadesque delivery; well tight. Imminent Danger is a multi layered offering that shows how Stepper can switch tempos and moods with ease. Big up to all Taxi Gang connection fe this one. Pimp My Cab is a nice Rub-A-Dub mover that shows simplicity has it's virtues. Guaranteed to please; just getting the musical point across. As with the whole project, Sly Dunbar is that quiet conductor that keeps the Inergy flowing. Matera Lounge is pure magic. A melodica intro gives way to a searing organ and Robbie's lilting Bass genius. Reminiscent of work from "The Summit" (mid 1980's). Nice way to finish this tour de force.

"Sly & Robbie Present Stepper Takes The Taxi" is a force to be reckoned with. From the opening note, you know that you're in for a fine time. The Riddim Twins have worked and fostered countless artists careers and it's just that they have done so for one of their own. This release is a great indication of the genius that is Guillaume "Stepper" Briard. He has quietly been a force for years and you'll be missing out if you don't check this project. Go deh!!!!!!!!!!!