Various Artists

Jamaican Beat [Culture Press]

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Vintage reggae fans with a predilection for vocal harmony groups will certainly enjoy this collection. Spotlighting producer Duke Reid's singular rocksteady and early reggae work from the late '60s and early '70s, Jamaican Beat gives the major nod to such dulcet Reid charges as the Jamaicans (the 1967 Jamaican Song Festival winner, "Ba-Ba-Boom Time"), the Paragons ("Maybe Someday"), the Melodians ("Passion Love"), and the Techniques ("I Wish It Would Rain"). Early DJs U-Roy and Dennis Alcapone do contribute fine toasting sides, and alto saxophonist Carl Bryan delivers the lone instrumental, but the focus is squarely on Reid's golden singing groups, with additional gems coming from the Silvertones, the Three Tops, and the Termites. Made extra swinging and fluid by tenor great Tommy McCook and Reid's Supersonics house band, this 17-track sampler makes for an ideal summer night soundtrack.

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