Saturday, February 17, 2024

Rest In Bass: Family Leave

We'll midpoint the weekend with another passing, including a tasty related bonus concert because I felt like it.

Because a couple of days into February, we lost a Reggae icon for the ages.

Far more than just "Bob Marley's bass player," in fact.
Truth be told, without this guy, Bob probably doesn't have the goods all sewn up and arranged to take over the world like he did, when the opportunity presented itself.

Because in essence, this guy was Bob's right hand man and the person responsible, as Wailers musical director, for the arrangements of all of dude's songs.

When the CIA decided it was time for Bob to go, his legacy was largely left to be carried on by today's dearly departed hero.

The Wailers carried on for several decades after 1981, with Aston Barrett -- famously called "Family Man" -- evolving into a global Reggae ambassador.

It's no exaggeration to say that the position of the bass in Reggae -- arguably the central instrument in the music -- owes in extremely large part to Fams.

In fact, you could say that every person who's ever picked up the bass since he came on the scene owes some sort of cosmic debt to Aston Barrett.

That's a mighty impressive shadow to leave upon your departure.

Anyway here he is, leading those mighty Wailers through their first performance in Jamaica after Bob died.

The Wailers
Jamaica World Music Festival
Bob Marley Performing Arts Center
Montego Bay, Jamaica

01 Marching Through Creation
02 Well Pleased
03 Preacher Man
04 My Friend
05 Rastaman Vibration
06 Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)
07 Redemption Song
08 Exodus

Total time: 42:57

Aston "Family Man" Barrett - bass
Carlton "Carly" Barrett - drums
Junior Marvin - guitar & vocals
Denval Darrick - guitar
Tyrone Downie - keyboards
Earl “Wya” Lindo - organ
Alvin "Seeco" Patterson - percussion
The I-Threes (Marcia Griffiths, Rita Marley & Judy Mowatt) - vocals
with The Zap Pow horns:
Glen DaCosta - saxophones
David Madden - trumpet
Stephen Marley - additional vocals on Exodus

master soundboard cassette, transferred & mastered by Charlie Miller, 2011
slightly edited for dead air, denoised and retracked -- with volume boosted +1 dB throughout -- by EN, February 2024
250 MB FLAC/direct link

You'll notice that I've placed another treat into the folder -- recorded 16 years ago today, actually --  which I felt was relevant to Family Man, Bob Marley and Black History Month.

This would be Sonoma State University Professor of Reggae Harrison Stafford's tribute project --  which I think delivers the Wailers vibe as well as anything out there in this century -- falling like petals on Petaluma in 2008, turning in a smokin' two-hours-and-change set of BM&TW album tracks.

I shall return midweek with some more BHM bombshells, you can bet your last money on it like Don Cornelius would say.

But before that happens I wanted to make sure I got a proper tribute in to Aston "Family Man" Barrett -- his friends called him Fams -- and commemorate both his passing and his eternal contribution to the music of our age.--J.

11.22.1946 - 2.3.2024

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