Burning Spear

Live at the Montreaux Jazz Festival 2001

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This recording captures reggae legend Winston Rodney (AKA Burning Spear) in one of his renowned live performances. Though Rodney's latter-day studio work hasn't quite matched landmark recordings such as 1975's MARCUS GARVEY, he has remained a committed and tireless showman over the years, spreading his message of social justice and equality via the deep grooves of roots music. His appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2001 shows him still going strong.

Rodney is a valuable teacher in that his lyrics often read as history lessons on topics such as discrimination ("Jah Nuh Dead"), black leaders ("Old Marcus"), and ignominious legacies ("Slavery Days"). But Rodney's personal message is one of liberation and unity, and the buoyant, hypnotic, infectious music created by his stellar backing band upholds this ideal. (The horn section here, which switches between punchy melodic riffs and jazzy soloing, is particularly notable.) This is a strong concert outing and a rousing testament to Burning Spear's live presence.

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