Prince Alla


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One of the most compelling roots reggae singers of the 1970s has also remained one of the most obscure. Having sung with the Leaders during the late 1960s, Prince Alla made a series of exceptional singles for producer Bertram Brown on the Freedom Sounds label (most of them collected on the outstanding Blood & Fire compilation entitled Only Love Can Conquer) before lapsing into inactivity again. He has made only the smallest handful of recordings since, so this recent effort is especially welcome. The mysterious Jah Warrior is behind the controls, and gives Prince Alla a nicely constructed batch of rootswise modern reggae grooves to work with; aided by the Crispy Horns, percussionist Jonah Dan, and guitarist Hughie Izachaar, Jah Warrior and Prince Alla stir up a steaming cauldron of bubbling roots rhythms, all of them presented in "showcase" style with dub mixes following the vocal versions. All of it is very good, but particular highlights include "Gather Round" and the stern "Fools Never Learn." Highly recommended.

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