Tinga Stewart

Tinga Stewart with the Dance Hall DJ's

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Tinga Stewart has remained relatively obscure despite his obvious skills as a singer of the crooning dancehall school and his various fine recordings made with the help of King Jammy, Bobby Digital, and the Fire House Crew in the early '90s. On this album, he is also helped out by some of the top DJs of the period, including Ninjaman, Tony Rebel, and the young Capleton (who, unfortunately, chats along in an unrelated key on the otherwise fine "Girl When"). Bunny General acquits himself nicely in a borderline speed rap style on "Special Lady" and Nardo Ranks toasts expertly on "I'm Busted," but the album's finest track is the first one, a muscular reinterpretation of the roots classic "Declaration of Rights" (here titled "Release"), on which Johnny P punctuates Stewart's gentle words of admonition with a powerful example of roots toasting delivered in a supremely confident style. This album is a minor masterpiece by a sadly underrated talent.

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