Various Artists

Jah Jah Dreader Than Dread

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Producer Linval Thompson cut his teeth working for rocksteady and reggae producer Bunny Lee during the '70s. Showing the same facility Lee and many other Kingston producers had, Thompson eventually staked a claim by overseeing many vocal, DJ, and dub sessions of his own. In addition to some stellar releases by King Tubby student and dub modernist Scientist, Thompson cut sides by such roster regulars of his as singers Freddie McGregor, Wayne Wade, and Freddie McKay, as well with harmony groups like the Wailing Souls and the Viceroys. And his DJ output got special handling, too, by top toasters like U-Brown and Welton Irie. This 17-track collection of Thompson-led tracks features all these acts, plus vocalists Sammy Dread, Tristan Palmer, and Thompson himself. Mostly recorded during the initial dancehall days of the late '70s and early '80s, the mix matches many fine vocal performances, plus a few DJ and dub shots, with a bevy of tough Roots Radics rhythms. A welcome salute to one of the music's overlooked heavyweights.

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