Junior Reid

Big Timer [Artists Only]

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Junior Reid's career has been a long and varied one, beginning in his early adolescence under the tutelage of Augustus Pablo and progressing through celebrated stints with Sugar Minott and King Jammy before his equally celebrated tenure as lead singer for Black Uhuru. Though he is sometimes dismissed as a Michael Rose imitator, such easy criticism doesn't do justice to either his range (he is an accomplished deejay as well as a singer) or his skill. This generous collection of tracks finds him at the peak of his powers, working under King Jammy and supported, alternately, by the High Times and Roots Radics bands. Not all 16 tracks are great -- he wastes an excellent rhythm by sticking stubbornly to the wrong key on "World's Too Haunted," and his rendition of "Sitting in the Park" (titled "Six for Nine" here) is awful. But most of the rest of the program is very good; particular highlights include the sweet lover's anthem "There Is No Darkness" and "Flash It for Me" (his arrangement of "Strange Things"). Recommended.

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