Interview with Wayne Jarrett

by Feb 10, 2021Articles, Interview

Wayne Jarrett

“SATTA DREAD”

When: About 2007
Where: Unknown
Reporter: Peter I
Copyright:  2021 – Peter I

Wayne Jarrett

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When it comes to the early dancehall era of the 1980’s there is a lot of talent to look at. The Roots Radics was the backbone of some of the most crucial recordings ever in Jamaican music with producers like the late Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes and Linval Thompson taking over the hit making throne from people like Bunny Lee and Joe Gibbs the previous decade. A few of them came from foreign, Johnny Osbourne split from his Canadian band and returned to Jamaica, for example, and cut a superb album for Coxson. We all know what became of that. We also know what happened to Willi Williams when he returned from Canada to record with Coxson Dodd in JA, there the ‘Armagideon Time’ was born.

“SATTA DREAD”

Wayne Jarrett was another one, born and grown in Jamaica but settled in the United States since the seventies. He had done recordings in New York for the Wackies stable but returned to Jamaica on and off, recording the great ‘Satta Dread’ for Robbie Shakespeare, and hit big with producers Junjo and Jah Life, ‘Saturday Night Jamboree’ was one big song in 1982 making the charts, and ‘Chip In’, the album, did well in England at the time. But he has been quiet for the past twenty years, only recently moving in the company of people like Ranking Joe, he cut a version of Horace Andy’s ‘Money Money’ classic some years back, his long time spar and main vocal influence. That was the last record, but I’m positive it is a lot more to come from this singer. My thanks to Wayne and family, Carlton Livingston, Donovan Phillips, Russ Bell Brown, and Steve Barrow.

Where did you grow up, in the countryside or in Kingston?
Well, I grew up in Kingston, yunno. I was born in Kingston and actually grow up in Allman Town, Allman Town, Roachford Park (?). Then I moved uptown when my mother came to the States.

Mid fifties.
Well yeah, I’m born in the mid fifties, 1956. I left Jamaica when I was seventeen years old. I didn’t know anything about… well, I had a little voice then, ’cause I actually sing in a choir. My teacher forced me to sing in a choir, I didn’t even know I was singin’ so good (chuckles).

‘Forced’ you (chuckles)?
Well, she… I didn’t want to do it (laughs)! You know, a lickle young yout’ an’ t’ing, you don’t want to sing in a choir. That was my thing at the time as a youth growing up in Jamaica. But born in Kingston, I leave Jamaica when I was seventeen year old, moved to the States, y’know.

How come? Your parents landed a job over there.
As a youth, your parents get a break fe come to America, and you just want fe send for your kids, them could come to America and have a better life.

Of course.
It’s not all of us in Jamaica have it good, yunno (laughs)! Y’know what I mean, not all of us.

I know.
So they come away and get a lickle break and send for them kids, that’s what my mother did. It was seven of us.

Ouch, seven kids.
Yep, she only did it, man. And when I came to the States I went to Connecticut, Hartford. That was my little ‘country’ (chuckles). Didn’t born in the country in Jamaica, but came to America and went to the country, y’know, which was alright, kinda keep me out of the environment. ‘Cause, in Jamaica you mostly get kinda picked in the politics t’ing, yunno. That was one of the main reasons why she sent for me.

To keep you away from getting ‘too involved’, like.
Yes, I wouldn’t get too much inna the badness t’ing, although I get a little taste of it growing up, y’know how it go. Born inna the ghetto you haffe… you have to be rough an’ tough, boss. The lickle young yout’ them whe live around you, you don’t want to get mixed in with them. So, socialize with them is kinda wha’ ‘appen, end up sick with the police them, ’cause they don’t care. But when as a yout’ in Jamaica I was always ‘natty dread’ still, yunno. Growing up being a Rastafari kid, and I have fe cut off my dread when coming to America.

Horace Andy in front of Channel One - 1984

Horace Andy in front of Channel One – 1984

Oh, so you were dread even in the early part of the seventies?
Eh? Yeah, I was there, that was early, early seventies around when I knot up, knot up me hair an’ t’ing. ‘Cause, move like I say, live ’round Rastafarians, a Rastafarian elder there always reasoning with you as a yout’, an’ show you certain lickle t’ings ’bout Selassie I an’ t’ing, y’know. I accept, I accepted it. So when I come to the States, your parents always a fight that, my parents couldn’t get it, ’cause I had to cut my hair. But cuttin’ your hair is only hair, meanin’ it was a heartical t’ing, yunno.

Did you get to know Horace (Andy) from the same neighborhood down in Jamaica before you migrated, or how did that friendship evolve?
Yeah, Allman Town (laughs)! Allman Town, yunno, we met there.

He grew up there?
Well, I never really get into those details with Horace Andy regarding where him grow, yunno, or born an’ grow. But I know that is a fe we link up an’ know each other in Allman Town, and Horace Andy used to walk with him guitar an’ always a play him guitar. Sometimes when I say to him seh, “Brethren, you can play da guitar deh good, man, ’cause I always see you with guitar” (laughs)! Actually that’s how we start talk. That was at Race Course, y’know Race Course is like, I think them name it Heroes Circle now, yunno, with Paul Bogle an’ all them, where Marcus Garvey an’ all them heroes bury.

Right, Heroes Park.
Heroes… well, Heroes Circle was change to Heroes Park now, ’cause it’s actually a park, where kids going to and play, y’know what I’m saying. ‘Cause I used to play (there) as a kid growing up. Yeah man, Horace Andy was very cool. You know, we kinda get to know each other. Him used to come to my yard and sit down and read comics and exchange comics in them days, y’know. Comics was actually like a cartoon book, with Batman and Superman and all (laughs)… we used to read as a yout’.

(Laughs)
Cartoon stuff, y’know, ’cause we was kids (chuckles). Horace was actually older than me still, but wasn’t that much older.

Apart from singing in the church choir, you never had a stint in a vocal group around the corner, like?
No, I didn’t start sing in Jamaica, y’know. Like I say, I did the choir t’ing, I was young, but when I came to America I was seventeen years old, so I was probably about seven to twelve years old when I did that. So I was miles from music, y’know what I’m saying, was far from music. I left to the States a couple of years after and be able to have a lickle part-time job and go to school. And I start to buy a lickle amps and a turntable and a lickle-lickle mic, yunno, start buy me record an’ play them an’ just a mess ’round on the mic, realised I sound alright coming through the mic (laughs). That’s when I start to be impressed with my voice. You know, I don’t know if it was the mic doing it or what, but it sounded good to me coming through the mic. And then, a brethren them would say to me that – one of my family said, well, “Bwoy, yu sound good, yunno! Mek a tape”. I start tape meself an’ I start feel impressed with myself, for some reason I don’t sound bad. And, like, couple friends would ask me fe make a tape for them, and I make a tape for myself and I make it for them. A couple lyrics sometime, the lyrics come to me and I might just… I don’t really write, I didn’t write nutten then. I didn’t go and say I’m a writer (chuckles). I just make a idea out of me mind and sing and put together, a freestyle, them kinda freestyle, right.

Improvise.
Mmm, yeah, that was basically it at the time.

What was the reggae scene like in Connecticut back in those days?
It was…

Small.
It was slow, man, y’know wha’ I mean. People love it, the people them was more old fashioned, the people was older people, country. You know, it’s like you have people there that keep them lickle t’ing, an’ it wasn’t that much club. It wasn’t no studio at the time that I know of, no reggae studio.

It was more based on blues dances, basement parties.
Eh? Right, right, older people them. And then them would keep a stage show now and then, was the regular artists them, y’know what I’m saying. And as times goes by, t’ings kinda change, different people move in a the place, younger people start change all them t’ings. I kinda remember they had a West Indian club, the American-West Indian Social Club, y’know, an’ it was pure old people them a run the place! And when we go deh and step in as – like I say I started to knotty again, yunno, when I came here, and it’s like them used to give we a fight, bwoy! I tell you, man, them woulda act like they never see Rasta people before. When you go to New York and you go to the clubs them it’s like it’s nutten. You know, I used to always tell the folks, “Look, we live in the community and being a part of the community while we can’t be a part of the West Indian clubs and we’re Jamaican”, y’know what I’m saying?

Yep.
And always a sow them with them lyrics, with those lyrics (chuckles), till gradually, gradually over the years you have more younger people start get involved and be member, mek members of the club an’ them t’ings just change, slowly.

From that period, you were the only one from Connecticut who made a serious attempt at recording, or you had other people from that area who made some kind of name later on?
But you know, when I did… Connecticut, like, I didn’t do my recording in Connecticut, yunno.

No, naturally, that was in New York, but I was thinking of the local scene in general, if there was anyone else of interest at the time?
Local scene… well, Horace Andy moved to Connecticut (chuckles).

King Sporty

King Sporty

I think I’ve heard something similar, yes. When?
Horace Andy later on, I think that was in the late seventies, early eighties, I can’t remember quite well ’cause the memory is going, Horace moved back too – well, not moved back, him moved to Hartford and we link up again (laughs). I think him came there, he came there at the time and did a show, him and John Holt them and a lot of older guys, and that’s how we link up in Connecticut. Make myself available to make him know that I live here now, I’m in the area. Yeah, at the time him know some guys that had a record shop up there, Sporty, the main man that was keeping all the stage shows in the area.

King Sporty?
Yeah, King Sporty, you’ve heard of him (chuckles)?

I think Sporty was a deejay in Jamaica, did some early deejay tracks, like late sixties. Later on he wrote ‘Buffalo Soldier’ too.
You serious?

Yeah.
OK, never heard that.

I believe he’s still married to this soul singer, Betty Wright (of ‘Clean Up Woman’ fame). You know of her?
Yes.

I believe he’s working out of Miami now.
Well, I’m hoping it’s the same guy, ’cause I think them call him ‘King Sporty’ the same for real, yunno (chuckles). He was there in Connecticut, had a record shop. But I know him had moved to Miami for quite some time, and the last time I went back to Conneticut, ’cause I go there every year and meet my family, ’cause my mother still live there, and I saw him up there, man. He moved back to Hartford, Connecticut. Even though compared to the eighties, sometimes in the eighties…

Or the seventies.
Or seventies, right, it’s much more livlier (chuckles). Yeah man, so that was basically Horace Andy and me that I can remember at the time. You had some lickle other guys that seh them can sing, that would form with us when we do anyt’ing up in that area, yeah. Then Horace Andy moved away, him got married to a friend of mine, and end up leaving later on. But I did my recording, a friend of mine took me to New York and – it wasn’t really a friend as friend, but I used to buy records out of him record shop, named Belltone. And him is the one who say him know someone that gwaan tek me to – he keep saying that and don’t do it, though finally one day he say come make we run to New York. And that’s when I went to New York with him and link up with Bullwackie. And the first song I did with Bullwackie was ‘African Woman’.

What year could that have been?
That was late seventies, I can’t pinpoint the exact date. But late seventies, early eighties. It had to be, because I came to America ’73, so…

 

Wayne Jarrett

 

But was that actually your first ever recording, that one for Wackie? I mean, you did a tune called ‘Satta Dread’ back in Jamaica, which I suspect was earlier than that one.
That was after.

Was that really after? OK.
The first song that I did for Bullwackie was a song named ‘African Woman’, most people probably don’t even know it. ‘African Woman’, first time in the studio I was like frightened at the mic (chuckles), I’m a shy person, yunno. And all of a sudden I going fe do somet’ing I want to do for the longest and going to the studio and just freeze up, y’know, ’cause there was so much people. And I perform good when I’m behind doors, locked up singin’. That’s why I used to love Tubby’s studio. You used to be in one lickle room by yourself an’ sing your tune them, yunno.

Right, a tiny little booth for voicing.
(Chuckles) And that’s how we did it at Tubby’s studio. But Bullwackie, first song was ‘African Woman’. Then I backed off. At that time I had family so it was like I had to go and do what I had to do and come back real fast and care for my little daughter, y’know. So that was Wackie, and then…

So the first connection with recording back in Jamaica, that was ‘Satta Dread’?
Well, yeah, I went to Jamaica. You know, I always wanted to do a Jamaican record, because I like the sound coming out of Jamaica. And then again, it’s like you get much more respect when you a come out of Jamaica as an artist. And the sound of the music and the mixing of the music, it was so – so different from the mix in America. I don’t know what it is, it’s just like the food of Jamaica taste better than the food you have over here (chuckles).

Stronger, spicy, more flavour to it.
Eh? Yeah! You know, it’s a different vibes, because everyt’ing wha’ you a sing is about to what’s happening, and you see so much things happening around you. Not that you don’t see it here, but you know Jamaica is a smaller, smaller place an’ it’s right up inna yu face. You know, in America you can spread yourself out an’ run go hide from certain environment, yes? And in Jamaica, it’s just right there, everywhere, every second! So, y’know, it’s even like…

Right, it’s more ‘alive’ somehow.
Yeah, you a feel everyt’ing, it’s a different vibes. I went to Jamaica, and just a pack up and go to Jamaica and seh, bwoy, go down there fe go try, meet somebody, a producer, anywhere in Jamaica and get myself… you know? I went to Jamaica, and I went down to – they called it ‘Idler’s Corner’, that’s down Parade there.

Jah Stitch 1987 (Photo: Beth Lesser)

Jah Stitch 1987 (Photo: Beth Lesser)

Chancery Lane.
Right, and Idler’s Corner them call it an’ it was near and next-door to Randy’s Records, right where Randy’s is. And hang out, deal with a dealing t’ing, and I start get to meet one or two person, that’s when I met this brethren named Jah Stitch. A brethren named Jah Stitch, have you ever heard of him?

A deejay, yes. ‘No Dread Can’t Dead’.
Yeah, him end up deejaying, then him never get involved in no record business, him was mostly deejaying for sounds at the time, yunno. So, somebody tell me that, well, later on at Randy’s they try to get me involved for something for Randy’s, and it was kinda tight. So I said ‘to hell with this’, and I went around Orange Street, I think that’s wha’ the area named, and Bunny Lee had a record shop. And yeah, a brethren of mine in Jamaica tell me that him know Robbie Shakespeare, him seh fe go an’ ask Robbie, an’ Robbie used to play for Bunny Lee then.

The Revolutionaries.
Right. And I see Robbie, and by the time I see Robbie a brethren give me a note, him tell me seh him can get me involved an’ everyt’ing. Me seh alright, man. So him talk to Bunny Lee an’ Bunny say, “Sing us a note, let me hear”, with a note (chuckles). Him say, “Boss, yu sound like Horace Andy, man!” Never really like that still, yunno (laughs). But I get fe realise it was true, ’cause I had that slur, y’know. And to myself I know I had a stronger tone of voice, like I was trying to imitate Horace Andy – we even look alike, so I mean, it make no difference in this business, I guess is alright fe people sound alike, right, if people look alike (laughs). Anyway, I was like, I go there every day ’round them, an’ Johnny Clarke an’ Linval Thompson, them ones was the top artists an’ Derrick Morgan and all them people him record. Night come down, it get late an’ I was trying a way… I end up at the studio, where I was recording…? Dynamic studio, yeah, can’t remember – between Dynamic studio and Tubbys at the time. Lay the riddim at Dynamic studio, and then woulda voice at Tubby’s. So you know, I’m at Dynamic studio and Tubbys. And that’s like travelling, and that’s like using up money (laughs), lickle money that I take to Jamaica to try and get involved in the music an’ t’ing. And every day I was on top of it trying to get involved, trying to do a song. Days passing, weeks passing, nutten gettin’ done – money gotten short, y’know. It’s like I wasn’t doing anything to make any money.

Like you lose more to do it.
Right (laughs)! So I kinda start get fed up, so a part of me a say, y’know, sometime you have to get kinda vile, and be on the phone, mek a man know seh, well, disrespec’, y’know what I’m saying, wha’ ‘appen, wha’ gwaan, you tek man fe idiot. So, them finally seh all right, ’cause it’s like me seh me a go do it one more night and do wha’ a gwaan an’ me a go over there an’ them say ‘definitely, definitely’ to me, Bunny Lee. And them see me a pack up, and me seh “Wha’ yu a tek man for, man?”, and me start get vile ‘pon them. And Robbie say, “Yeah man, a true, man, yu deh all the time, man – can do a lickle one tune”. Most of the musician them did end up leaving, leaving Santa I think it was playing drums then, and I can’t remember… his last name is Santa? Santa, whe him called…?

‘Santa’ Davis, Soul Syndicate.
Yeah! Santa, and Robbie play the bass and I cyaan remember the brethren whe play the keyboard, him name…

Ansel Collins

Ansel Collins

Ansel Collins perhaps?
A lickle short guy, whe him name…?

Could be Ansel Collins, or maybe Winston Wright.
Right! Yeah, I think it was Ansel Collins, if I can remember right (laughs)! It’s a sort of familiar face that guy, ’cause him used to live in Allman Town and I remember seeing him, we never really used to talk but that’s a familiar face from Allman Town growing up. So there was a guy that end up playing ‘Satta Dread’, that riddim, y’know, it was like you sing out the songs an’ them follow you.

Had you written the lyrics to it before?
No.

Just wrote it on the spot.
Just start singin’ it on the spot, it was no writing (laughs)! Them times deh you never have no time fe do nutten, ’cause them a rush you. It’s like, I had a few lyrics that I’d write down, y’know what I’m saying, but it so happen that I didn’t have it with me. I go back and forth so much time that this particular day I forget the lyrics them (laughs). I left the book, I left the notebook with all the lyrics in it. So when I really search an’ look fe the lickle hook-up bag that I had, a carry-bag that I had, I realised that I didn’t have the lyrics in it. I just start sing wha’ I could remember.

(Chuckles)
One of the songs that I had (chuckles), scribble down some words an’ it was a song that I start scribble down when I went to Jamaica. I never finish it up, so it wasn’t too much lyrics to it. So I did that song now and finish that, that was very very late, I think we end up at Tubbys at night or also the same day, very late. I believe it took us about… one somet’ing. That was late in them days, man, end up at Tubbys to voice (laughs)! So, it’s like end up at Tubbys at night, Linval Thompson and Johnny Clarke an’ them do them lickle t’ing an’ voice them voice. When I voice ‘Satta Dread’ I was like trying to tell them fe make us do it tomorrow, the next day. “Nah man, go ahead an’ just do wha’ yu can remember”. That’s what I did, ‘Satta Dread’ there. I guess a lot of people, a few people like it. My songs them, my song no really get the promotion that it should’ve got. I guess a few people kind of get fe know Wayne Jarrett.

Yes. That tune came out on the Bar Bell label, so Robbie produced the whole thing, or who actually produced the session?
You know, at the time when I did that song it’s like Bunny Lee start acting strange again, y’know, him start act like ‘The tune no sound good, we haffe do it over back’, and that’s the runaround whe them give you when I saw them the next day. I say, “But I tell you seh, mek I do over that song, mek I do it over the same time next day”. And the lyrics, I go ahead an’ do what I can remember, so I did what I can remember although I tell you seh it don’t have much lyrics. So him say, well, then “It’s all right, yu voice sound all right an’ t’ing an’ the riddim alright – one more lick”. So we say, “Mek we do it over then”. And I go there couple more days an’ I end up not doing over anyt’ing, you no see. And I had to come back to the States, so I end up flying out and not doing anything. So I figure that he couldn’t put it out. I was surprised that I heard it, right (laughs).

Mmm.
As a matter of fact, before I left, the night before I leave Jamaica, I went to a dance ‘pon Stadium with a brethren, an’ them days when you do your tune, yunno, you talk ’bout ‘special’. But you no eat no food offa that, them often say ‘you’re lucky’. ‘Cause, them cyaan do a song an’ go do it an’ sing a special fe a dozen or thousand or two-thousand soundman, and eat a food outa it. When in them days you do a tune, a the producer them eat food, ’cause them eat to whoever the artist sound them time deh, y’understan’ me, ‘pon dubplate. And we just hear it an’ I say: “Bwoy, a me that, yunno, a so them cyaan do it”. And you don’t get no money from that, ca’ you don’t get royalty from dubplates. That’s how them used to do it in them days. So the artists in our days who do it today should really give thanks. And that’s whe I heard the song, I say: “But wait, I think him say he was never going to put it out”. But I just laugh, y’know, ca’ I feel good fe hear your tune a playin’ in the dance (laughs).

So that was like the second recording ever, ‘Satta Dread’?
Right. Yeah, the second record, the second song I did, I was like lookin’ around and see ‘Wha’, the people a dance to me song, man’, I feel good (laughs)!

That was like the week after you cut it, when they played it at that dance?
No, it was like about – I think I did it almost like the weekend, like Thursday or so, so that was like the Friday night and I was supposed to fly out Sunday morning, and I said: “Make I jus’ kill the weekend an’ go some dance”. And I went to the dance and I hear the tune an’ I was like, “But wait, I think him say it’s the song me come fe voice over, how come it a play?” (laughs). You know, it’s like I said, I was so excited, I was so excited to hear my song in a dance and man a rock to it! Everyt’ing just black out! And I was jus’ there smiling, saying “Wow, that’s me!” I tell me brethren, “A me that”. “Yeah man, that song wicked, man!” Ca’ inna them days everybody a Rasta, yunno, an’ for me a call Jah in a song it’s like is the world’s greatest that, y’know.

Apart from it being released on Robbie’s Bar Bell label, that song came out on Pete Weston’s Micron label as well.
Was Micron?

Yes, Micron, some claim it was Weston behind that one, but it was actually Robbie’s production?
I guess so, because Robbie Shakespeare and Bunny Lee – you know somet’ing, if asked about who produced that at the time, I didn’t have no idea. When I got it, I can’t even remember which label it was’pon, if it was Micron. That label I saw it on, or if it was ‘pon Robbie Shakespeare’s label, he told me. That was when I actually saw the record, was when I came back to the States.

Did you hear about the reissue of that song, ‘Satta Dread’, on the Micron label some ten years ago?
I saw it on the… it was on the CD, a CD couple of years ago when I moved to Florida.

Yes, you mean the dub version to it?
Well, it had the vocal and I think the dub version on the CD also.

I’m only aware of the dub version, it’s available on a King Tubby compilation of dubs for Bunny Lee, ‘Dub Gone Crazy’ (Blood & Fire).
Right, right, it’s on that. Well, my song was just all over the place, moving and I wasn’t getting a penny from it, y’know. That’s how it work for them, I was trying and like I said I was living in America…

Difficult to check what’s happening from there.
I had no control over it, and I wasn’t hungry, so I jus’ seh mek it gwaan run, yunno, and I didn’t pay it any mind. Because you ask it around an’ you don’t get too much answer. That year it release it here in America that I was go to, like I was distributing the song itself, you’re asking many things and don’t get too much information. All of them is crooks, that’s how it is.

What about ‘Jah Children Shall Be Free’ for Prince Tony, that must’ve been cut at the same time?
Right.

It was done at the same time?
No, no, when I went back to Jamaica, mid eighties (chuckles). Yep, that was in the mid eighties, like I said if I can remember I think it was in the mid eighties. I went back to Jamaica and…

I have to question that though, sounds a lot more ‘seventies’ to my ears.
It probably was seventies, yunno, who knows (laughs)! It was the late seventies, man, trust me. Trust me, because I went to Jamaica ’75. I come here ’73 and went back down there ’75, and I think that’s when I went and did my lickle t’ing with Bunny Lee, but probably was still the seventies. And I met Prince Tony just from passing his record shop on Slipe Pen Road, and I just go inside there and end up seeing I Roy – or U Roy, ah! U Roy, yeah, the dread U Roy?

1986 U Roy at home (Photo: Beth Lesser)

1986 U Roy at home (Photo: Beth Lesser)

Yes.
Ca’ U Roy used to record for him, yunno. And me and U Roy start reason, and U Roy let me know that him is a producer, and I just start hang out at his record shop and I saw this brethren in front of the record shop with his big bellfoot pants and whe you put pantsfoot straight, y’know, ca’ you a Rasta (chuckles). And me say, “A me soul brethren ya, OK”. And me get fe understan’ that him is the one that own the record shop, by the time I pass there I stopped. And me get a point of duty when I go a Jamaica and pass that record shop, ca’ I used to pass there when I was younger in Jamaica and going to Carib Theatre, just pass and stop and settle, listen to the music. And the music was coming out loud, the record shop they had a box outside on the sidewalk (chuckles), so that’s how I met I Roy – U Roy, the dread U Roy. ‘Cause I meet him from them days when I used to follow Tubby’s sound, I used to go up there an’ talk to him as a dread, ca’ me love when he used to deejay (laughs), “I don’t know if you remember me quite well?” But I say to him, seh: “You remember me, brethren?” You know, and I went in a the record shop and recognise him an’, y’know, I used to follow Tubbys and get beaten for Tubbys, and get locked out and sleep outside. And I always go up to him and a talk to him when he play the music. I asked him if he remember, ’cause I kinda broke now, yunno. So, me a tell him seh me can sing, and he introduce me to Tony (Robinson) and I end up – I was supposed to do a couple of songs, but I was like teasing them like with one-one song an’ mek an excuse, ’cause I know them is robbers, yunno. And it so happened that it worked out alright, because I didn’t get no money for that either. He wanted me to sing over that song, y’know, ’cause I mentioned to him that I had a couple original t’ings I wanted to do an’ he want me to sing over that song firs’, and I did it. Anyway, the time again run out, that I had to come back to the States. Ca’ me not making no money, so you cyaan extend your time beca’ them not giving you no money.

‘Something On My Mind’ for Prince Tony, he wanted you to do ‘a good Horace’ there?
Oh, ‘Something On My Mind’, right (chuckles). Yeah, I did that with Prince Mohammed – George Nooks. Yes, I remember – I almost forgot that song. Yeah, I haffe remember now, it was two songs I did for him, I did the Horace Andy. You know, these producers, them tell you what to do sometime, yunno. You have no control over that, ca’ you a the one record a song, y’know. Then you walk with a book full of lyrics and them tell you seh them waan you fe sing over somebody’s song, and you tell them seh, well, you have some original t’ing – them no really interested inna that, them waan you sing over whe them want you sing over. At the time you just say OK, bounce with it, you work with the program, y’know. So I did ‘Something On My Mind’, a Horace Andy sing-over. And George Nooks as Prince Mohammed, he also deejay on that. Was ‘Catch A Fire’, the deejay part, I think that was the name. So that was alright.

What about ‘Youth Man’ for Glen Brown, where does that one fit in here? Must have been around this time.
Yeah, ‘Youth Man’ – I did ‘Youth Man’ for Glen Brown and ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’, a song named ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’. Him didn’t push that one that much, but that was a Dionne Warwick song I did over. Other people liked it, on a local level. But him didn’t push that. I don’t know if him released that, ’cause he gave it to me. He was the only producer that really give me some form of respect, some attention (chuckles). When I did them two songs for him, him give it to me at the time and said gwaan – “Gwaan with it an’ a hustle”, you understan’ me?

(Chuckles) Yes.
Seen. So I did ‘Youth Man’ at the time when the Peace Treaty t’ing did a gwaan in Jamaica, with the politics, y’know. And I heard the riddim an’ know what fe do on it, then I start that about a whole heap a war an’ t’ing a gwaan down in Jamaica an’ a whole other – that was nutten that I write, siddung an’ write. So him gwaan start a t’ing, an’ when you go to studio you have a lickle-lickle money fe work with, so studio booking is not even fe no whole heap a hour, you understan’ me. So you have no time fe write out nutten, them just going on, go in there an’ seh ‘Just go sing, make up somet’ing’, y’know. And me start think ‘pon the politics t’ing an’ like me seh, a brethren of mine did a sing on it, Glen… Glen (sighs), wha’ him name, Glen somet’ing…? Wasn’t really a brethren, a friend of mine – another friend of mine’s in America brother…

Glenroy Richards?
Right, and he got killed.

What happened?
In the Green Bay – some place whe them call named Green Bay whe the soldier them used to practice, train, practice, or somet’ing like that. And them promise them job an’ carry them out there an’ them got to kill them, was a politics t’ing.

King Tubby 1983 (Photo: Beth Lesser)

King Tubby 1983 (Photo: Beth Lesser)

He cut the ‘Wicked Can’t Run Away’ for Glen Brown at that time.
Right, the same riddim, same riddim whe the ‘Youth Man’ is on. So I did that song when the Peace Treaty time a Jamaica with the politics t’ing. For Glen Brown, I tend to forget some a them names sometimes – so much a them, so much hustlers. But Glen Brown is a alright brethren though, I have nutten bad fe say ’bout him, him alright.

Where was it recorded?
Well, yeah, he had the riddim, he had the riddim and I voice it at Tubbys. And like I tell you, I used to love voice at Tubbys, ca’ his is just a lickle room locked up by yourself, like your own lickle world.

How did you find Tubby?
Tubbys was a guy that… you just do business with him, an’ is a business t’ing him deal with, yunno. (Chuckles) Him na talk too much as I can recall. You know, words to words an’ that’s it. A quiet person, y’know. If him know you is all about business an’ whatever you’re doing an’ you’re serious with it, you an’ him get along. That’s where I met Scientist also, at Tubbys (laughs).

He was an apprentice then, right?
Right, young, young, young guy, man. He’s there in the shop, ’cause you know Tubbys is not just mixing music an’ voicing music, him was a – him also used to build amps, tube amps. You know, tube amps fe the sound guys in Jamaica in them days, them used the tubes in it (chuckles). Tubbys build his sound, y’know, there was a sound named ‘Tubbys’ (King Tubby’s Home Town Hi Fi), and that’s like I said the sound ‘Tubbys’, that’s how I met U Roy. Ca’ I used to sneak out and listen to the sound them, as a lickle youth meeting U Roy, go there and talk to him. One t’ing lead to another as years go by an’ you grow big.

You recorded infrequently, partly because of living overseas. So you had a break somewhat and came back with a tune for Junjo (Lawes) in 1980, ‘Saturday Night Jamboree’ on the Dub Irator label, that’s the tune that made your name?
No, you know what… right, that was later down the years. I knew Jah Life – me a go tell you how I get linked to Junjo now. Through Jah Life, I can’t leave out Jah Life – Jah Life is my brethren fe years! I don’t know if you’re familiar with Jah Life Records in New York?

Jah Life, yes – Hyman Wright.
Jah Life (chuckles), and him also have a record shop down in Miami, Florida too. But that’s two brethren I used to record with, I did my lickle recording with first. I was trying to see if I even could find that album, as I have it here somewhere.

You mean ‘What’s Wrong With The Youths’?
Yea, I did an album for Jah Life, he produced it also, late eighties. From I did that album for him, there was a tune I did which, y’know, was on an album named ‘Saturday Night Jamboree’.

Not ‘Chip In’?
No, no, no, no – that album came before ‘Chip In’. Maybe I’m tellin’ you somet’ing that you don’t know about (laughs)!

Count Shelly

Count Shelly

(Laughs)
That album came before ‘Chip In’, was ‘Chip In’ on the Jah Life label. I did ‘Saturday Night Jamboree’ and I also record an album, and what happened is, Jah Life and Junjo them was brethrens, and Junjo give Jah Life, y’know, riddims back and forth, and Jah Life would do him lickle t’ing in America with artists such as I. ‘Cause I was easy to reach, drive from Connecticut to New York (chuckles) and do a session, y’know what I’m saying, in them days, instead of fly out to Jamaica because it’s more expensive to go to Jamaica. So, I did ‘Saturday Night Jamboree’ for Jah Life, and Jah Life give it to Junjo – ca’ Junjo was more like from Jamaica to New York and England, ca’ him had a link with Greensleeves Records. He leave it to Junjo, and then Junjo bring up a couple of copies, and I guess him give it to Greensleeves and them just had it under the counter. And from what I heard, Shelly – remember Shelly at the time?

Count Shelly?
Yeah, yeah, Count Shelly I guess gave a copy to Rodigan, and Rodigan start play it on the air and big it up. So while them hear it playing now on the air and start give it some exposure, Greensleeve them now decided fe get the stamper and start press it. (Chuckles) Them never have enough copy to keep up with the sales, y’know, that’s what I heard. And that’s how I end up doing ‘Chip In’ album for Junjo, ’cause him never really pay me too much… give me too much attention when I first met him, y’know, in New York. ‘Cause I actually met him in New York through Jah Life, Jah Life introduce us, and him never really pay me no mind. See, this is the album I just roll up into it here, that I did for Jah Life, before I did the ‘Chip In’ album…

That’s ‘What’s Wrong With The Youths’.
Right, ‘What’s Wrong With The Youths’. And that had ‘Saturday Night Jamboree’ on it, but it’s Jah Life I did that song for and he gave it to Junjo, and put it on a – in them days it was Disco 45, right (laughs)!

Right.
A big Disco 45, and them give it to Greensleeves and like I said, it had been pushed and I heard it did pretty good over there.

What about New York?
Ahh, it was alright yunno in New York, I wouldn’t say it was a big big hit, but it did pretty good in England I heard. You know, in them days everybody just eat them food outa England (chuckles). You do a lickle tune an’ run go a England an’ release it firs’, you know the market, the market was bigger there for us.

How about Jamaica, did it hit down there too?
Jamaica? You know, to tell you the truth, it played in Jamaica but I don’t think it was a hit down there, ’cause it didn’t get enough promotion. And if the tune na get no promotion, if it don’t get any airplay, them don’t know about it. ‘Cause, especially when it’s a tune I did in foreign, when you do them tune in Jamaica, record in Jamaica, you have a better chance to get more exposure and promotion and all them t’ing deh. Because the soundman them start hear it up at the dance, you understan’ me, soundman them start playing it inna the dance an’ the people hear it – everybody want it, like every sound want fe play it. So if it kinda get popular inna the dance, when you release it everybody want a copy. So, when you see a tune in Jamaica that’s how most artists like fe record out of Jamaica, ’cause I mean is Jamaica reggae music did originate from, so you waan your tune a play in Jamaica. But the t’ing is, when you do your tune in America, it’s not all the time – well, at least me as an artist, you don’t have a producer at that time taking care of no promotion, really promote it, like knew yourself as an artist, y’know. So, that’s how that went. Well, like I said, ‘Chip In’ the album…

 

 

That one hit pretty big.
Well, yeah, that was from Greensleeves them, like, since ‘Saturday Night Jamboree’ did well, they want to follow it up, y’know. So that’s when Junjo came to me, like I told you we met in New York and him didn’t pay me much attention (laughs). And when they tell him to get some follow-ups, that’s when I end up going to Jamaica. Him call me and seh, well, then him would like to do an album, and we negotiate a lickle t’ing an’ him agreed on it. First him kinda studder, and then him agreed on it. And then me and Jah Life went to Jamaica, so we did ‘Chip In’. And ‘Chip In’ was basically another – nutten that I write, y’know, ’cause I end up leaving the lickle lyric book ‘gain (chuckles), I didn’t pack it with my suitcase or my clothes, with the lickle lyrics them that I had write out. So when I get to Jamaica I realised that I didn’t have the book with me, so it’s like I basically trying to remember certain t’ings. ‘Chip In’ was basically kind of created out of Jamaica still, yunno. ‘Cause them days deh you had ‘Rope In’, ‘Rock & Come In’ and all them lickle talk deh, you remember them used to talk that? Cornell Campbell did a song deh (sings): ‘Rope right in, let me tell you…’, something like that?

Yes.
(Chuckles) So it was basically I did create a lickle style and ‘rope in me brethren’, y’know what I’m saying. I did – somebody eat some chips inna the studio, and it so happened that I beg him some chips, I end up saying: “Brethren, chip in nuh” (laughs). ‘Chip in’, so he give me some chips and we say “Yeah”, y’know. And we go inna the studio and me never have nothing to sing so me just sing that, ‘Chip in, tune right in…’, yunno, and that was it. That was a big hit – in England, it didn’t get any push in America. Later on I think Channel One (coughs)… I think it was Channel One released a couple, Channel One release ‘Chip In’ on a Disco 45 here in America, ca’ that’s where I recorded it. Was Channel One in them days record it, and voice it at Tubby’s.

Jah Life - 1983 (Photo: Beth Lesser)

Jah Life – 1983 (Photo: Beth Lesser)

Where did Jah Life record his stuff, where in New York did he work most of the time?
We used to record at…

Not Wackies?
No, we used to go up at Phillip’s studio. Phillip, I don’t know if you heard of Phillip, Phillip Smart?

Yes, yes, Prince Phillip.
Yeah, Phillip Smart, he was one of Tubby’s engineers in the seventies, that’s when I met him (chuckles). Yep, him take a couple of my songs and voice them, yunno. So we went there, I was comfortable with Phillip, and that’s where I actually did ‘Saturday Night Jamboree’. Both of them, as a matter of fact, a couple of tracks was laid inside Phillip’s studio, some of the tracks them was from Junjo. That was laid with I think Roots Radics band did most of them tracks. There was also this other guy in Brooklyn, he had a sound – what’s the name of this guy…? I haven’t seen this guy for so many years I can’t even remember them name.

Wasn’t Brad Osbourne, or more likely Don One?
No, no, no, not Don One, like a guy even from earlier time… oh, my God! He will be mad at me for not remembering him – he had a sound in them days, man, cyaan remember him name. This was a foreign, foreign, foreign producer, there was lickle-lickle studios in Brooklyn that wasn’t big at the time, y’know. Lickle studios that certain guys, people had in them basement and you go there an’ you do a lickle t’ing, but if you go to the popular studios them will charge you for speech only, y’know (chuckles). You know the budget, but there was a budget that them guys had to keep in them days, yunno. But me and Jah Life, the main place we record at was Phillip Smart’s, Phillip Smart studio in Long Island, go there and voice. Then further on after the ‘Saturday Night Jamboree’, then the ‘Chip In’ came in. There was also another album.

‘Bubble Up’ for Wackies?
Mmm, no – ‘Bubble Up’ was actually before, ‘Bubble Up’ was in-between, after the first time I went to Bullwackie and did my t’ing. ‘Bubble Up’ come after I did ‘Saturday Night…’ – I mean ‘Satta Dread’, I kinda link up back with Wackies, I end up doing that ‘Bubble Up’. It was about six or eight tracks that I did for him, y’know.

Six tracks, yes – a ‘showcase’.
So that was like a in-between thing, y’know, but sometime you tend to do songs for producers, but them hold on to it, kinda confuse the market. You would think that you did it for them reason, but you did it for long long time. But them siddung ‘pon the songs an’ hold it until them hear it’s somet’ing out for you that doing well, then them release it, kinda tends to flood the market. But you know, like I said I was living here in America, back and forth to Jamaica, spending my own money going back and forth trying to get myself situated in the music t’ing, and it was like it was tough in them days, man. I had a family here, but I end up doing another album – as a matter of fact, I did a song named ‘Nice & Easy’, it’s an American song. Horace Andy did it earlier, earlier down in the years, and I end up singin’ it over for Jah Life on the ‘Stormy Weather’ riddim, you know that riddim: ‘pram prah pram’. The ‘Stormy Weather’ riddim, is a riddim that go way back, y’know, and I did ‘Nice & Easy’ on it. And I end up giving it to this guy named – well, at the time it was Ashantites…

Yes, you mean the ‘Inner Circle’ album.
Right, ‘Inner Circle’ (chuckles), you heard ’bout that, right?

I know of the album, but so far I haven’t heard it, no.
Yeah, and he liked that song, and he was just gettin’ into the business, involved with the business. So him end up kinda push it in Washington, it was a big hit in Washington (laughs). I end up going up there and doing a couple of shows and it turned out real nice, y’know, real real nice. (Chuckles) That was one of my best performances that I can remember, and the people them give me a welcome, warm welcome there, yunno. And after that him follow it up with some other tracks and release it, we did the album. The album was to called ‘Inner Circle’, ’cause there was a song on it – it confuse a lot of people, because they thought it was the Inner Circle band that did it (laughs). But that wasn’t really the idea, that was just a name of – a name of one of the songs them that was on the album. And from there on, you know how it go – you sing and the money not coming in to take care of the family. You know, a lot of people see me an’ ask me why I stop sing, but you have to do other things to take care of the family.

Of course.
You love the business, you love the business, but hey! You have to put the food on the table for the kids, right? If you’re not achieving anything from it as you know most of the producers them, them don’t like fe pay artists no money in them days.

How did you earn the bread?
Well, I had to go on and work, I was workin’ in-between, y’know, ’cause remember – I come to America before I start sing. Most of the artists them from outa Jamaica inna the ghetto, and them start sing and the producer them jus’ do a whole heap a song with them, you have to sing a barrage of music to make a money! And inna Jamaica is a struggle, you go do it. You know what I’m sayin’, you know no better, you do it. That’s why them – a lot of artists in them days, Toyan, Barrington Levy and all them artists deh, them artists – it’s like Junjo had so much, did so much album with Barrington Levy. You know, with me, just one album and a ease off an’ come back to the States an’ spend time with the family an’ don’t get no money, you have to work and take care of the family. And that’s how it work, and I just get frustrated of it. If I had the money for myself I would’ve stayed in the business, IF I was making any money from the songs that I was doing. I could’ve invested it in myself, y’understan’ me, an’ produce.

Did you ever record an album’s worth of songs for people like Bunny Lee, or stuff that never got released that could make an album, for whoever?
No, I didn’t do any album for him. I think I did about, must’ve been two songs for Bunny Lee. One of them, I didn’t hear it. I don’t know if he had released it in England, ’cause I never really travel out of the United States, was some to United States and Jamaica, and back. Who knows, ’cause sometimes you see songs released in England and you know nutten about it, like how you’re tellin’ me now that the ‘Chip In’ album is out (chuckles). I didn’t know that!

Right, I mentioned that beforehand. It came out a couple of years ago on a cheap release, a little bootleg-ish to say the least. Linval didn’t even credit the late Junjo for the production or anything like that, just put it out without a proper artwork and credits. Looks like a pirate, if anything. Even if it wasn’t.
Well, most of them, it have to be pirate! Have to be, had to be.

I mean, I know they were close at the time, but Linval doesn’t own the rights to Junjo’s material, right?
He doesn’t, it’s Greensleeves, and it’s supposed to be Jah Life. You know, Jah Life I think right now have some good t’ing going on with Greensleeves, because a lot of riddims in that, it was like exchanging riddims with each other. It was like a partnership t’ing that wasn’t in writing, y’know (laughs). In them days deh everyt’ing – it was nutten done by writing, it wasn’t income paper, yunno, just mutual word.

And Wackies put out ‘Bubble Up’ in England (via Jet Star) and another one entitled ‘Mini Showcase’, that Basic Channel did a reissue of the other year.
Right, the ‘Mini Showcase’. And during them times, y’know, you’re trying fe get in touch with these producers and in any minute them number change. ‘Cause people would see me and tell me these t’ings, if they hear me songs on the internet, see it in England. But then you can’t get in touch with none of these producers, numbers that them give you change.

By the way, there’s some mix up with this deejay from New York named Mikey Jarrett, as if there’s belief that that is actually you under a ‘deejay alias’, like.
Oh, that’s my cousin (laughs)!

Yeah?
Yeah man! It so happened that I found out that Mikey Jarrett was my cousin, you know it’s like it was somet’ing that I have to give Bullwackie the credit for that, ’cause that’s where the messages was left for me to get in touch with him, that I had this cousin named Mikey Jarrett. That was like ‘I know no ‘Mikey Jarrett’ – I have a brother named Mikey Jarrett, Michael Jarrett. And that’s the only family that I can say I know of, from a Jarrett. Then I didn’t call him and him come there one night I was there, voicing the same ‘Bubble Up’ song there, and that’s how me an’ Mikey Jarrett link up. And we become so close, up until this day (chuckles). Me and him get along with my older brother, and we follow that we’re cousins, y’know, on my mother’s side. ‘Cause my mother had a different set of family that was Jarrett in the countryside that I didn’t know, ’cause my father is where I get my name from, the Jarrett. Is a whole different set of family that was Jarrett, a lot of mix up.

The latest tune you’ve done so far, would that be a recut of ‘Money Money’, the Horace Andy classic, for Ranking Joe a couple of years ago?
Yeah, you know of that (chuckles). Which I didn’t even waan fe get involved in, and Ranking Joe beg me-beg me, must’ve begged me for about a year and a half to voice that tune, I didn’t waan fe touch no Horace Andy, ’cause basically touching people’s tune, is like them get upset. And people sing over my song and I didn’t get upset, ’cause Dennis Brown did sing over ‘Youth Man’. Actually I was proud (chuckles), to know that Dennis Brown sing over one of my song. It didn’t bother me (laughs).

Are you aware of the tunes Bunny Lee has put out in recent times, like ‘Live On Jah’ on the Attack Gold label as a 10″-inch, and Linval released a song on the Yabby You ‘King Pharoah’s Plague’ rhythm, entitled ‘Praise Jah’? That was a Thompson Sound 45 pretty recently I think.
No sah.

I don’t know if you even remember those tunes, perhaps they’ve never been issued until now. Over the past two years those two – or was it three titles that I wasn’t familiar with – that has been released in your name lately.
No sir, I’ve heard nutten like that. I know I did songs for them and I didn’t hear it and I thought them didn’t produce it, and you don’t get to see these people, ’cause it’s like a hustling to them, yunno. It’s like how them hustle illegal t’ings, y’know, that was basically what most of them was doing. ‘Cause them pirate people’s things an’ them – I don’t even work for them, I’ve gone to work. I never release no other singer’s music or anyt’ing like that, you see me? And that’s how them deal with the business, a rat race t’ing, y’know, that’s how them is.

How do you look back on your career so far, what you’ve achieved over the years?
I would say I achieve a name, and I have a name that make people ask ‘What’s up with Wayne Jarrett, why ‘im na sing again?’ But as far as on a financial level, I made nutten from it, but I enjoyed the lickle flex around… But some of the producers them was alright, people that I meet, I met a lot of people, interesting people.

Which one of the albums are you the most pleased with, the way they turned out to be?
Mmm, I’d say ‘Chip In’.

Yeah?
‘Chip In’, ‘Chip In’ was nice, because…

Not ‘Bubble Up’?
No, ‘Bubble Up’ was not a ‘Chip In’ album. ‘Bubble Up’ was alright, but most of the songs them was like I said, they was just – you sing it on a freestyle, you sing out of your head. When I listen to a lot of my songs, I know I could have done them…

Better.
A little better, y’know. More lyrics, add more lyrics to them. (Chuckles) It’s just when you listen back to something and you feel like ‘Damn, I could have this better, yunno’. But it was just the rush that the producer them was… them had so much artists them a record an’ studio time wasn’t enough, they didn’t put enough money in it. Like it was a hurry done t’ing, if you tell them you want fe write out a song, them say “It sound alright, man”, and them leave it at that. And I know if I had the money to do my thing, it would’ve done better. That’s why I didn’t have that much interest because of the type of people them that was involved in the business, yunno, it was like a hustling for them.

What’s ahead for you now, musically speaking, if you have anything scheduled currently?
To tell you the truth, I’ve done nothing. You see the last song that I’ve done for Ranking Joe, the Horace Andy song that I did over, I still have the voice. I’ve done special for the soundman them still, ca’ whenever the lickle songs them I did in the past, ‘Chip In’ and ‘Youth Man’ and ‘Satta Dread’ was all songs that kinda keep me strong with some of the foundation people them that have sound, y’know. The lickle young one them, them might hear original sound play them songs deh an’ ask fe it still, but them more into the up-to-date t’ing, the Elephant Man them and whole heap a jump-up t’ing. Not that I’m against it (chuckles), I’m not against it, y’know what I mean. It’s not like the music them whe I and I used to deal with, sing reality in the music. The new artists, I admire them, ca’ them a do them t’ing, yunno. And them get a better break than I did and most of the artists from them time, if they don’t get pirated by Linval or these guys (chuckles).

Are you still in touch with Horace these days?
Yeah, Horace, I talked to Horace – not recently, it was about a year and a half ago, or two years, I saw him in Miami, ca’ I live in Miami now. I saw him in the market and I run up an’ down, run up an’ down with him and go a couple of stores, and that was that. The last time I heard, someone saw him up there in Connecticut where I used to live, I guess him went back up there to go see his kids, y’know. That’s it.

What is going on nowadays, how do you see the current music?
Yeah, yeah, I think the lyrics and some of the riddims them, it could be better. But you have some artists out there that is doing good still, like Morgan Heritage, them artists deh, them a put out good music. I respect them artists deh. Bounty Killer and them artists deh, yeah, every jump-up t’ing, me na go dis them, ca’ you haffe do wha’ you haffe do to survive. I just wish that them would more work together instead of war against each other. But them lucky (chuckles), ’cause them could a make somet’ing out of the business, whether whatever lyrics them a talk. I try fe give everybody them a lickle credit, y’know. I don’t put down nutten, y’understan’ me, ’cause bad t’ings happen every day an’ good t’ings happen. So if you choose to speak the bad t’ings and don’t speak of the good t’ings, that’s between you and God, yunno. (Chuckles) So I just leave it alone, I no judge no man ‘pon it and jus’ leave it up to God. But right now when I sit here I have a feeling that I going do a hit song. I don’t see it happening yet, but I know it will. One day.

Let us hope what he predicts will come true, it is certainly due to Wayne Jarrett after so many years and ups and downs in the business. You wish he had more recognition than the current status suggests, but I’m sure it will come, eventually. Now is the time to reap his rewards, especially since Greensleeves recently decided to dig deeper into their back catalog and reissue some long unavailable music, including Wayne’s ‘Chip In’ album, just released in the crystal clear CD sound and very welcome it was compared to the cheapish reissue on Thompson Sound some years ago. Still, kudos to Linval for making a rare album see the light of day again. Looking back, it is something I have to agree with Wayne about, it’s the man’s best album, closely followed by ‘Bubble Up’ for Bullwackie. Considering the circumstances these albums are recorded under, they are in many instances remarkable achievements of talent delivering the goods through tight schedules, and Wayne is certainly one of the most consistent. There’s that voice to begin with, a magnificent instrument, and to me he has received some unnecessary criticism for being just a simple Horace Andy clone, it’s more to him than that. The man stands on his own, and did so from pretty early on. ‘Is just a style’, as they say, and that style has been working fine for the past twenty-five years. If only Jah Life could take the ‘What’s Wrong With the Youths’ album to the pressing plant, then we would have one of Jarrett’s better efforts out there again. That his ‘Inner Circle’ LP would see the light of day once more is, perhaps, the most unlikely as producer Satta Blue is long out of the business as far as I know. What looks like nothing but a marketing ploy but at the same time confusing the record consuming crowd was the retitled ‘Bubble Up’ LP the other year to ‘Showcase Vol. 1’.

Needless and ridiculous, Wackies. It’s still good to see such a solid album available though. Then there’s the Attack Gold 10″-inch release of the, as far as I know, unreleased Bunny Lee productions of Wayne’s ‘Don’t Trouble I’ and the brilliant ‘Live On Jah’, both out in 2003. Those two singles might be a bit scarce to find now but well worth an investment if you can locate them. I would assume that Bunny collects both on his ‘Attack Gold vol 1 & 2’ CDs in a not too distant future. But I’m sure that ‘Chip In’ will boost his name once again to a new audience, and those in the know would surely replace their worn-out copies of the old vinyl to a fresh CD release, as it also includes the rare 12″-version of ‘Saturday Night Jamboree’ with an additional toast by New York-based deejay Silver Fox. Wayne is now, only recently, aware of the reissue so here’s hoping for some just treatment regarding the compensation he’s due. More Wayne Jarrett music on the market now, please.