Dennis Bovell – The 4th Street Albums Collection
Doctor Bird/Cherry Red Records
October 20, 2023
Website Record Label
AH WHO SEH? GO-DEH!
1 Ah Who Seh
3 Jah Chase Dem
4 Half Way To Za-Ion
5 Run Dem Out
8 Go Deh
9 Rite Dem
10 Raw Kut
12 Wells Street Skank aka Entebee
13 None Ah Jah Children
14 Skatter Skatter
15 Uganda Crisis aka Tribute To Idi Amin
16 Ah Fi We Dis
17 Sure Shot
18 Younger Generation
19 Bounty Hunter (Sign Off)
20 North Parade aka Theme From A Summer Place
21 Run Rasta, Run
22 Run Rasta, Run (Version)
23 Come With Me – Dennis Bovell as Dennis Curtis
24 Come With Me Version – Dennis Bovell as Dennis Curtis
25 Raindrops – Dennis Bovell as Dennis Matumbi
26 Eye Water aka Raindrops Version – Dennis Bovell as Dennis Matumbi
SCIENTIFIC, HIGHER RANKING DUBB
1 Higher Ranking
2 One Life To Live
3 Still In Dub
5 Higking Ranher
6 Hosaso (One Life To Live instrumental)
7 Rainy (Organ)
8 Hurting Me (Give It Up)
9 Take Five aka Kunta Klap
10 Oh Lawd (My Sweet Lord instrumental)
12 The Grunwick Affair
13 Rowing Down The River aka Row Row Row
14 Take Your Pick
15 Blue Moon
16 Front Line
17 Don’t Boost Dem Up
18 Forever Missing You
19 New Kent Road
20 Blood A Go Run
21 Run Dem aka Blood A Go Run
This collection comes performed and produced by one of British music’s greatest talents and contains four of the finest Roots albums ever released. Dennis Bovell made his name as a member of the mid-’70s outfit known as Matumbi and left to move into the production side of the music business. The collection covers four albums from 1976 to 1978, containing Roots and Dub sounds. 47 tracks make-up this collection and one looks at a selection from the original albums. This collection also comes with various bonus tracks, let’s take a look at several of these.
AH WHO SEH? GO- DEH!
1. AH WHO SEH! This comes with a mid-tempo rhythm track and includes some fine percussion work. It also has fine organ work from time-to-time and saxophone as the lead instrument. Fine way to start off this CD collection and a top-quality slice of British produced Jamaican music. 3. JAH CHASE DEM 5 RUN DEM OUT. This comes with a vocal and is a Roots Reggae sound. The rhythm track is punchy and mid-tempo with a combined vocal. 7. SING-A-MAN. As one might have guessed this comes as a Dub version of The Kingstonians’ “Singer Man”. It lends itself well to this genre and some fading vocal sounds are present. Pleasing track this one.
11. BACK-WEH-BABYLON. Starting with a short vocal sound it moves along at mid-tempo, continuing with a full-on vocal. The rhythm track is dominated by the drum sound. This was written by Dennis Bovell. 13. NONE AH JAH CHILDREN. This is a partial Dub sound at mid-tempo which starts and finishes without really going anywhere. Heavy drumming on the rhythm track and various Jamaican artists have recorded versions of this, one being Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus. 15. UGANDA CRISIS aka TRIBUTE TO IDI AMIN. This is a slow drum led Dub sound and as on most Dub recordings the Reggae rhythm comes in from time-to-time. Another track that goes nowhere. Quite a strange title for this track. 16. A FI WE DIS. Starting slowly it becomes a mid-tempo sound with fine percussion work. Nice punchy rhythm track and on of the best tracks on the collection and a Dub sound. 20. NORTHPARADE aka THEME FROM A SUMMER PLACE. One remembers the original by Percy Faith/Orchestra back in 1959. This is a mid-tempo sound that picks-up the original tune and then goes into a Dub number before returning back to the original tune. This lends itself well this genre and finishes the tracks on the original album.
BONUS TRACKS (A Selection)
21. RUN RASTA RUN. This is mid-tempo and comes with a dual vocal along with a punchy rhythm track. The vocals and rhythm track come together to leave the listener feeling upbeat. Released in UK on More Cut Records 1976. 25 RAINDROPS. Dennis Bovell as Dennis Matumbi. This comes mid-tempo with both solo vocal and combined vocals as Dennis Bovell is helped-out by backing singers. The rhythm track comes punchy without percussion in sight. The main vocal is top-notch and one ends up listening to catchy Lovers Rock/Dub sound. Released in UK on More Cut Records 1977.
SCIENTIFIC, HIGHER RANKING DUBB
4. SCIENTIFIC. Starting off with an oscillating intro it then moves into a Dub sound at mid-tempo. Some percussion can be heard way back on the rhythm track from time-to-time. Nice catchy instrumental this one. Released in UK 2006. 7. RAINY (ORGAN). One remembers the Nicky Thomas 7″ release of this tune and here we have a mid-tempo organ version. The rhythm track comes with some heavy drumming and all-in-all a good version. 9. TAKE FIVE aka KUNTA CLAP. You may have guessed that this is a version of the instrumental by Dave Brubeck from way back. The rhythm track is led by piano with drumming well to the fore. This comes as a good version of a good tune.
12. THE GRUNWICK AFFAIR. Here we have a slower track on which the rhythm track comes with percussion and more heavy drumming. Nothing special about this, but pleasant. Released in UK on More Cut Records 2015. 15. BLUE MOON. One of my all-time favourite tunes given the 24th Street Orchestra treatment with a mid-tempo trumpet led rhythm track. This lends itself well to this rendition.
20. BLOOD A GO RUN. This comes with a full-on vocal, mid-tempo rhythm track and has a rootsy feel. The vocal is clear with the vocalist doing a good job. Overall the listener ends up listening to a pleasing slice of Roots Reggae. Released on Serious Business label in UK 1977.
To sum up, this collection will maybe not excite all Jamaican music fans but it does show that the Jamaican music genre does not just have to be recorded in Jamaica and showcases Dennis Bovell as one of Britain’s finest producers. As always an eight page booklet, full of pictures and information is included and if this style of Jamaican music is for you then £16 99p will add this well package release to one’s music collection.
Hurting Me (Give It Up)
The Grunwick Affair