Various Artists

Head Shot: Reggae Instrumentals, Dubs and Other Oddities

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A trawl through the vaults of celebrated reggae producer Winston "Niney" Holness yielded this delightful odds-and-sods program of (mostly previously unreleased) dub versions, instrumental tracks, and songs dating from 1970 to 1978. There are a couple of fine cuts on the deathless "Here I Come" rhythm, including a creepy dub version based on Dennis Brown's classic vocal performance, and also dub versions of Niney's own "Rasta No Pickpocket" (rendered here as "Clean Heart Rasta" with a Tony Chin guitar overdub) and "Blood and Fire" (here as "Chapter Ten"). Saxophone legend Tommy McCook leads the Supersonics through a charming rocksteady instrumental titled "Doreth," which then leads, strangely, into the charming "You Can't Get into Zion With Your Big Checkbook" ("It will bounce!"), on which Niney is joined by vocalists Lloyd Charmers, Dobby Dobson, and Denzil Laing. Overall, this album isn't quite as strange as the jacket copy might lead you to expect, but it's chock-full of worthwhile obscurities from the tapes of one of reggae's best producers working at the peak of his powers.

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