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Various Artists

This Is Crucial Reggae: Funk Party

(Trojan)

Listening to these reggae artists covering American soul hits gives you insight into the evolution of Jamaican music. After all, many reggae pioneers were raised on the American soul music that reached their island radios. “Boogie on Reggae Woman” makes this experiment especially confusing: It’s a Stevie Wonder song influenced by his love of reggae music, which is played back to him by a reggae artist! It makes this experiment a crosspollination, rather than a question about which culture influenced which. One wonders why “Get Up, Stand Up” by Chequers is included, however, because it was an important protest song by Jamaica’s own Bob Marley & the Wailers. The true fun comes with hearing “Kung Fu Fighting” put to a reggae beat, as well as the realization that nobody should ever attempt to cover Isaac Hayes’s signature song, “Shaft”. Nevertheless, Chosen Few at least gives it a fine try. Get down, get reggae with this disc!

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Dan MacIntosh is a freelance writer from Bellflower, California,


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