10 things you didn’t know about Tenor Saw

Clive Bright AKA Tenor Saw is generally regarded as one of the greatest voices of the dancehall era.  Like too many artists from this period in Jamaica, Tenor Saw died too young, his lifeless body discovered on the side of a Houston, TX freeway in 1988.

1.  Tenor Saw, who  honed his unique voice singing in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, recorded his first single “Roll Call” in 1984.  A religious song sung over the “Queen Majesty” riddim, the single was produced by George Phang and released on the Powerhouse label.

2.  Tenor Saw sought out Sugar Minott, whose Youthman Promotion sound was the ruling sound, by throwing rocks at his house until Minott came out to confront the boy.  According to Minott, Saw apologized and said “bwoy Fadda, a long time me a try yuh nuh and mi caan get nobody fi listen mi.”  Their friendship started right there in front of Minott’s house.

3.  Tenor Saw’s biggest break came in 1985 when he followed Minott to Jammy’s studio in Waterhouse so that Minott could voice over a dubplate of Jammy’s Sleng Teng riddim.  The dubplate is made to contain 4-tracks, two on the a-side, and two on the b-side.  Minott voiced three tracks and invited Tenor Saw to voice the fourth.  The result was “How Water Walk Go A Pumkin Belly.”  The title was eventually shortened to “Pumkin Belly” and was Tenor Saw’s first big hit.

4.  Tenor Saw’s stellar “Victory Train” anthem was arranged and co-produced by Freddie McGregor.  It was released as a 12″ in 1985 on the Black Victory label.

5.  Tenor Saw’s biggest hit was “Ring The Alarm,” which he voiced over the Stalag 17 riddim.  1985 was the year of a legendary four-way clash between Minott’s Youthman Productions, Prince Jammy’s crew, the Black Scorpio sound system, and the Arrows crew.  Tenor Saw made dancehall history when he deconstructed the opposing sound and jumped to the stage to declare “Ring the alarm, another sound is dying.”

6.  According to Minott, Tenor Saw was most interested in singing conscious lyrics and that the “bad bwoy” songs were usually written strictly for the sound clashes.

7.  Success in Jamaica sent Tenor Saw to the US in 1987, where he toured extensively with Freddie McGregor.  Rumours start circulating about Tenor Saw’s excessive cocaine use and unraveling mental state.

8.  In 1988, Tenor Saw was signed to RAS Records by label chief Doctor Dread.  They got to work on a new album immediately.  The Roots Radics were brought into Lion and Fox Stusios in Washington, DC to lay down the riddims.  When it came time to voice the riddims Tenor Saw could not be found.  He never resurfaced and those riddims were eventually voiced by Yellowman at Lion and Fox for the album Yellowman Rides Again, which was released in 1988.

9.  On October 26, 1988 the Jamaica Gleaner reported that Tenor Saw had been shot and killed in New York City after a domestic dispute.  What the paper did not know at the time was that Tenor Saw was killed two months earlier in August 1988.  His body was found on the side of a road with the official cause of death determined as a case of hit and run.  However, after performing an autopsy, the Houston medical examiner listed his cause of death as pneumonia.  Others insist to this day that he was murdered.

10.  As Rick Sawyer points out in The Tragedy of Tenor Saw “’Ring the alarm, another sound is dying’” was meant as taunt, but, in retrospect, it sounds like Tenor Saw’s epitaph.”

Here is the excellent tribute song that King Kong did for Tenor Saw titled “He Was A Friend.”  It was reissued several years back by Dug Out on a 12″.

“He Was A Friend”

“Victory Train”

“Who’s Gonna Help Me Praise”

“Roll Call”

“Ring The Alarm”

“Lots of Sign”

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Stephen Marley Live, 930 Club, Washington DC, July 14, 2011

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post its Stephen Marley week in DC.  Stephen plays the Lincoln Theatre tomorrow night.  So here is some excellent audio from his performance at the 930 Club here in DC from July 2011.  Many thanks Dubwise Garage for coming through with the audio files!

Intro
Chase Dem
Break Us Apart
No Cigarette Smoke In My Room
Mind Control
Hey Baby
Jah Army
Could You Be Loved
Tight Ship
One Love

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Live Event Photos : Gari Grèu & Oai Star, Live Escale Saint Michel, Aubagne , France

last friday , i was invited to another concert, by the Oai Star band, in another little town named Aubagne.

While working on the release of their new album ‘Oai & I” who will be released in June
they are actually on an extensive promotion tour.

the lead singer, Gari Grèu, being one of the members of Massilia Sound System band as well.

here photos of the concert :

Gari Grèu & Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu & Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu & Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu & Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Dub Mood & Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Dub Mood & Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Max /  Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Max / Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Buzz  /  Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Buzz / Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Momo & Gari Grèu   /  Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Momo & Gari Grèu / Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Momo & Gari Grèu   /  Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Momo & Gari Grèu / Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Wahid , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne  - Photo Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Wahid , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Momo   /  Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Momo / Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Buzz  /  Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Buzz / Oai Star , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu taking the time to sign a poster for a fan , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Gari Grèu taking the time to sign a poster for a fan , Live Escale Saint Michel , Aubagne – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

 Oai Star New Album Flyer  - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 201

Oai Star New Album Flyer – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 201

To Learn More About the Oai Star band :

Gari Grèu Official Website

Oai Star Band Official Website

Thanks to Gari Grèu, the Oai Star Band, Juario, Sofi, Olive Leandro, Wahid Raubi, Chris Soprano, Dinou.

Live Event Photos : Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire, Marseille, France

heya dear readers,

i was invited last thursday to another concert, this time by the french band Samba Reggae.

the concert was held inside one of the most famous venue here , a place named l’intermediaire.
during the seventies, eighties, this place was one the major venue about alternative music here.

here photos of samba reggae concert :

Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Chris / Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Chris / Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Paul / Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Paul / Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Paul / Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Paul / Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L'Intermediaire - Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

Samba Reggae , Live L’Intermediaire – Photo : Fred reGGaeLover 2014

To learn more about Samba Reggae :

Samba Reggae At My Space

Thanks to Paul, Samba, Chris, Gilles And L’Intermediaire crew.

Pressure Rains “The Sound” Down Upon The Streets

I-GRADE RECORDS drops THE SOUND from PRESSURE today, marking the second great album this year from the Virgin Islands new roots reggae factory.  As I stated in my review of MIDNITE’S BEAUTY FOR ASHES, the reggae crown still resides in the Virgin Islands.  As if we needed more proof after MIDNITE’S best effort since 2012′s CHILDREN OF JAH (and a new roots masterpiece in my opinion), I-GRADE releases to the streets yet another remarkable album.  Hailing from St. Thomas,  PRESSURE AKA Delyno Brown is more singer than chanter, his sound and vibe honed throughout the late 1990s on the Star Lion sound system.  His voice is a distinguished one.  One that is clearly influenced by the artists he was influenced by as a youth.  With the emotive power and wisdom of Luciano, the energy of Capleton, and the solemness of Jah Mason, Pressure’s voice is one that can be accessed and appreciated by most reggae fans.

THE SOUND finds Pressure in top form.  He coasts magnificently on an acoustic vibe on the opener “Rise Today,” an age-old song about persevering and pushing forward.  If you are a fan of the Virgin Islands sound and vibe, this album will fill you up as it features outstanding collaborations with the likes of Volcano, Midnite, and Ras Batch.  His track “Stop This Train” with Jamaica’s Lutan Fyah is most impressive.  Both Batch and Fyah were untouchable on MIDNITE’S BEAUTY FOR ASHES and PRESSURE is well-served here by both. PRESSURE goes conscious and poetic on “The Rain,” riding tight on a solid Songbird riddim as if he owns it:

“The rain is no different than my tears,
when I look at what my people fear,
I swear I’ll never give up the fight and show no fear,
The sun is reflecting my heart and soul,
and it’s burning me uncontrolled”

Producers ZION I KINGS, already a formidible force to reckon with, bring solid, heavy, rootsy grooves once again to this project.  They are steadily compiling a catalogue of sound that is nothing if not foundational roots and culture at it’s contemporary finest.  If their sound is the new sound of reggae, then I’m as optimistic as PRESSURE is about the future of this music.  It is that eternal optimism - the idea of placing one foot in fron of the other and trodding forward - that I find most refreshing about this album.  It is a simple ideal such as this that still has a profound effect on even the most cynical reggae fan, and there are none more cyncial, more fickle or backward-leaning than me. 

Do what I did and buy this album immediately.

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