The Mighty Diamonds / Mutabaruka

Live at Reggae Sunsplash

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An odd pairing of Jamaican harmony trio the Mighty Diamonds (Donald "Tabby" Shaw, Fitzroy "Bunny" Simpson, Lloyd "Judge" Ferguson) and dub poet Mutabaruka taken from live sets performed at 1982's Reggae Sunsplash Festival, this sequence leads off with eight tracks by the Diamonds, including fine live versions of "Right Time," "I Need a Roof," and "Have Mercy" that spotlight the trio's clean, clear, and gorgeous harmonies. Seven tracks by the rough-as-salt Mutabaruka follow, including the effective "Drug Kulcha," but his set is a little bit jarring following the smooth-as-honey vocals of the Mighty Diamonds, and it would probably have made artistic sense to reverse the running order here. At any rate, fans of these artists may find this set valuable, but casual listeners no doubt would be better served by picking up individual albums by each of them.