VA – Hot Sauce Volume 4 (14 Reggay Gems From The Vaults Of Trojan Records 1965-1975)

by Dec 27, 2023Reviews, Various

Hot Sauce 4

Release Info

Label
Harlem Shuffle Records
Format
LP
Street date
December, 2023
Contact
Website Record Label
Facebook Label

Tracklist
Side A
A1. The Charmers – I Did It
A2. Herman – Love Brother
A3. The Ethiopians – Rim Bim Bam
A4. Tony & His Group & Tommy McCook & The Supersonics – Fire Fire (Take 3)
A5. Winston Groovy & Pat Rhoden & Brother Dan All Stars – Pony Ride
A6. Ansel Collins – Night Of Love
A7. Lynn Taitt & The Jets – Dee’s Special

Side B
B1. The Rulers & The Carib Beats – Let My People Go
B2. Dave Barker – Black Power
B3. The Hippy Boys – Wondering
B4. Charmers All Stars – Going In Circles
B5. Chosen Few – It’s Too Late
B6. Dennis Alcapone – Shades Of Hudson
B7. G.G. All Stars – Old Time (Dub)

Harlem Shuffle Records

Our website recently featured a review of Reggay Undercover (14 Scorching Ska, Rocksteady & Reggay Covers From Jamaica 1964-1970), a vinyl release by Harlem Shuffle Records. You can find the review of that LP here. The team at Harlem Shuffle Records has a deep passion for music from the past, particularly genres like ska, reggae, rocksteady, and related styles. As a result, they have made it their mission to re-release hidden gems from the past that are mostly unknown to the general public. By exploring the vast archives of Trojan Records and its sub-labels, they have unearthed a variety of tunes that are part of the Hot Sauce series. Their latest release, Hot Sauce Volume 4, consists of fourteen highly enjoyable tracks from the years 1965-1975.

Organ Driven Instrumental

The Charmers, a duo comprised of Lloyd Winstone Tyrell (known as Lloyd Charmers) and Roy Willis, kick off the album with their track I Did It. This 1970 release, featuring an organ-driven instrumental and occasional unintelligible vocals from one of The Charmers, was distributed by various labels, including Trojan. During that time, this approach was a common practice. Alongside Trojan, Pama, established by the Palmer brothers, emerged as the primary competitor in Jamaican music. Eventually, the brothers went on to establish the successful Jet Star Records. I Did It served as the B-side to Oh Me Oh My and was also put out by Bullet, a sublabel of rival Pama. Herman Chin-Loy, known as Herman in this context, is accountable for the delightful Love Brother track. This tune was also put out by the rival label Escort, which is a subsidiary of Pama Records. Evidently, the artist and/or producer had their sights set on achieving the highest possible financial gain through this approach!

Ethiopians

One of the hit machines of the time was the group The Ethiopians. Here they are present with the catchy tune Rim Bam Bam from 1971. This track was produced by Vincent “Randy” Chin, who played a significant role in the establishment of the now influential VP Records. Pony Ride was originally released with artist credits Winston and Pat. It was produced by Dandy Livingstone, a key figure in the UK reggae scene at that time, who used the alias Brother Dan for some of his releases. The singer Pat Rhoden, accompanied by Winston, possibly Winston Groovy, although there is some uncertainty, contributed to this lively track. Pony Ride is just one example of the many songs from that era that drew inspiration from the popular hit Ride Yu Donkey by The Tennors.

Rocksteady

Night Of Love is a captivating organ instrumental performed by Ansel Collins, who rose to international acclaim with the release of the hit song Double Barrel alongside vocalist Dave Barker in 1971. Night Of Love was also featured on the B-side of Derrick Morgan’s 7″ single Copy Cat, produced by Leslie Kong. However, there is no doubt that Night Of Love surpasses Derrick Morgan’s effort. The Amalgamated label, established by Trojan in 1968, was set up for releasing Joe Gibbs’ productions. Dee’s Special by Lynn Taitt & The Jets is a rocksteady instrumental that features Count Sticky engaging in lively banter as a deejay. This delightful track serves as a wonderful closing to the first side of the album. The initial song on the B-side, titled Let My People Go, is a delectable, slowed-down rocksteady tune produced Karl Johnson, also known as Sir J.J. Johnson. The Rulers achieved great success with Copasetic, but this early roots track is an unparalleled gem as well.

Irresistible charm

Black Power is a sample of Dave Barker’s well-nigh manic vocal delivery, set to an energetic organ instrumental. The 7″ single release attributes the song not to Dave Barker, but to producer Lloyd Charmers, who released it on his Splash label. Carole King’s timeless hit, It’s Too Late,continues to stand as an unrivaled masterpiece. The Chosen Few, a versatile group with ever-changing line-ups, skillfully delivers a heartfelt rendition of Carole’s iconic track. Once again, credit goes to the talented Lloyd Charmers for his impeccable production. The Hippy Boys were a fluid collective of musicians who were particularly active under the name The Upsetters for producer Lee Perry. Their effort called Wondering is an uptempo piece where the piano takes center stage as a solo instrument. Going In Circles by The Charmers exudes an irresistible charm that captivates listeners. This rendition serves as an unbeatable cover of the soul classic originally performed by The Friends Of Distinction in 1969. The charm and appeal of the reggae version cannot be denied, making it a highly recommended track for repeated listening.

captivating and austere sound

Moving on to Shades Of Hudson, a deejay cut by Dennis Alcapone from 1970, we witness the early years of his illustrious career. Alcapone skillfully adds his catchy toast to Night Curfew by saxophonist Karl Bryan & The Carribeats. The A side of that Big Shot 7″ single was Spanish Omega being a deejay cover over Ken Boothe’s well-known track Old Fashioned Way, produced by Keith Hudson. The G.G. All Stars, producer Alvin Ranglin’s renowned studio band, present a dub version called Old Time (Dub) that focuses on a stripped-down, yet captivating approach. In this dub version, the bass boldly commands the spotlight, accompanied by mesmerizing guitar licks, creating a captivating and austere sound. The Heptones’ 1973 release Old Time served as the vocal version of this track, produced by Alvin Ranglin.

Lynn Taitt & The Jets
Dee’s Special

Dennis Alcapone
Shades Of Hudson

The Ethiopians
Rim Bim Bam

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