Monday, November 26, 2018

Jamaican History: Uhuru '82

No one likes Mondays, but I promise you'll like this Monday anniversIrie post.
This is another set from the infamous Jamaica World Music Festival of 1982, considered by some to be the best fest ever blessed.
I've posted several of these, but this one might be the deepest.
We're just glad these got captured in the sparkling way they all did, that there might be a lasting document of such a seminal, legendary festival.
Our fare for today features one of the great Reggae bands, on their home turf and closing the second night of the JWMF like a boss.
It also features Reggae's most celebrated rhythm section, going fresh out of their minds for a full 80 minutes of dubtastic mayhem.
If I had to say what I love most about Black Uhuru, it'd be the way Michael Rose sings with the weary wisdom of the ancients, or the way Puma Jones puts otherwordly, equally-as-ancient-sounding harmonies on top of his remonstrations.
Puma's vocals on this stuff sound like they are cast down from the Upper Room or something; it's like an ancient, righteous plea for Justice denied in every syllable.
Another genius aspect of this badass set are the live Dub effects, prevalent throughout. I have no idea who mixed this live but they killed.
Overall it plays like a live greatest hits thing of these cats, in the near-perfect quality we wish all bootlegs could feature.
Black Uhuru
Jamaica World Music Festival
Bob Marley Performing Arts Center
Montego Bay, Jamaica

01 Shine Eye Gal
02 Plastic Smile
03 I Love King Selassie
04 Chill Out
05 Darkness
06 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
07 Abortion
08 General Penitentiary
09 Happiness
10 World Is Africa
11 Sensemilla
12 Sponji Reggae
13 Mondays

Total time: 1:19:55

Derrick "Duckie" Simpson - vocals & percussion
Sandra "Puma" Jones - vocals & percussion
Michael Rose - vocals
Sly Dunbar - drums 
Robbie Shakespeare - bass 
Christopher "Sky Juice" Burth - percussion 
Darryl Thompson - guitar 
Billy Johnson - guitar 
Franklyn "Bubbler" Waul - keyboards 

master soundboard cassette, recorded by Frank Streeter and transferred and mastered by Charlie Miller;
small sections of Track 05 repaired and subtly reconstructed as necessary by EN, Nov. 2018
I worked on one song, which had some issues, to make it whole again. The "Darkness" track faded in very suddenly off the tape flip, so it was subtly lengthened a bar to be more realistically musical, if you will. 
There was also a section midway through the song where the transfer was bad or some sort of dropouts/digiskips happened and disoriented the music, so I reconstructed those few bars using what was there to be seamless and musically correct instead of jarring and confusing. 
The thing is still fitting a single CD and besides, I felt this monster show and incredible, sonically sparkling capture merited the fix, which takes the whole 80 minutes of Irie into the realm of blissful perfection, or darn near close.
I'll be back with one last milestone blast for November on Wednesday, because you've got a friend in me.
Today, however, is your day to groove on this ridonkulously tasty Black Uhuru set; now that's it's more optimized it's probably one of my all-time favorite shows by anyone. Ras Tafari!--J.