Marcia Griffiths

Truly

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Yes, she probably is the greatest living female reggae singer, although the unjustly overlooked Judy Mowatt (a fellow I-Threes alumna) could have given her a run for her money if she'd really tried, and if J.C. Lodge hadn't gone the cooing sex-kitten route, she could have been a contender too. Be that as it may, no other woman has made a contribution that approaches that of Marcia Griffiths, whose sweet, full-bodied alto voice has been one of the finest and most distinctive sounds in reggae since the late 1960s. Truly finds her reunited with Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, the producer with whom she launched her career. Most of the album consists of old songs newly recorded -- classics like "I Shall Sing," "No No No" and the almost unbearably lovely "Shimmering Star" -- but there are also several previously unreleased tracks of 1960s vintage. The notes aren't completely forthcoming on this subject, but it sounds like even the new recordings were voiced over old Studio One instrumental tracks, which is nothing to be ashamed of, considering the deathless quality of the music Dodd was producing at that time. Griffiths has cut more essential records than this one, but there's no reason for any reggae fan to pass it up.

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