Various Artists

Place Called Jamaica

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Compilations that draw their material from the vaults of the great producer Derrick Harriott are almost always winners, and this one is no exception. Bringing together artists both legendary (Junior Murvin, Big Youth, Horace Andy, Dennis Brown) and obscure (Winston McAnuff, Rudy Mills, Roman & Dave), Place Called Jamaica is a fascinating combination of tracks that are a similar mix of the familiar and unfamiliar. Among the long-acknowledged classics on this album are Horace Andy's "Lonely Woman," Scotty's "I Worry," and the ubiquitous "Stop That Train" by Keith & Tex (along with Big Youth's brilliant DJ cut on the same rhythm, titled "Cool Breeze"). But some of the best tracks are the less-familiar ones, such as Dave Robinson's charming, horn-heavy "Native Woman" and Earl Sixteen's absolutely brilliant "Dreadlocks Unite." Harriott's own "Loser" is recast in a DJ version by Scotty as "Sesame Street" and as a melodica instrumental by Augustus Pablo, and the Chosen Few's infamous rendition of the theme from Shaft offers a moment of comedy relief. Highly recommended.

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