Various Artists

Solid Gold from the Vaults, Vol. 4

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This is the fourth and last volume of Trojan's impressive Solid Gold from the Vaults collection of rare ska, rock steady, and early reggae sides. Along with reggae soul tracks like Winston Heywood's "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and Jackie Edward's "I Do Love You," there are DJ numbers like U-Roy and Lee Perry's "Dreamland Version," and a nice organ workout on Winston Wright's "Top Secret." The second half of the CD veers into ska territory with contributions by the Skatalites, as well as some more boss organ work, this time provided by Jackie Mittoo. If there could be such a genre as "crime-jazz rock steady," then there's some of that too by way of the loping beats, nocturnal horns, and bordello piano riffs on the Soul Brothers' "Hot and Cold" and Roland Alphonso's "Moodorama." Once again, there are nice picks by Lionel Young, aka Sir Tropical Downbeat, from the Muzik City collection. Sonically speaking, all of the volumes in this collection provide a bit of a rough guide to Jamaican music's golden era. If you are a fan of the music, though, they are all certainly worth getting.

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