Duke Reid

Mark Lamarr Presents Duke Reid's: Nuclear Weapon

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

For the uninitiated, Duke Reid was a completely bad*ss Jamican producer who defined the rocksteady movement on jukeboxes, with sound systems, in dancehalls, and even on the radio in the early '60s. Before Bob Marley and the Wailers were doing soul covers, before Clement "Coxsone" Dodd broke down the barriers with his own version of ska, Reid was filling sides of vinyl with unique, rhythmically stunning productions that endure in the annals od Caribbean musical history. This Trojan collection assembles no less than 26 tracks on one CD-ROM. Reid's productions included talents as varied as Alton Ellis, Roland Alphonso, Derrick Morgan, Hortense Ellis, the Prodigals, and of course, Duke Reid's All Stars. Most of the tracks here have never been issued outside of their original 45's in Jamaica. Of the handful that have been, none of them have appeared on CD until now. Legendary skanking numbers such as "Chickeroo," by Alton Ellis and Eddie Parkins, are juxtaposed against Cosmo & Dennis' early Rasta hit "Going Down to Canaan," and Morgan's underground smash "Joybells." Reid's saxophone playing is reminiscent of Illinois Jacquet's and his arranging style is equal parts Cab Calloway and Louis Jordan, infused by that glorious, slowed-down, ska rhythm. Ellis' tracks here are among the finest moments of his career, and Reid's manner of bringing a vocal into the heart of the mix is nothing less than astonishing. This is the finest of good-time Jamaican music, and is every bit as essential as Stax/Volt for it sheer power.

blue highlight denotes track pick