Various - Studio One Groups 2LPLabel: Soul Jazz Records
Regular price $29.98
The Soul Jazz label once again proves how smart they are with excellent Studio One Groups, an almost overwhelming set of killer cuts from bands and singing groups affiliated with Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's "University of Reggae." Clement Seymour "Sir Coxsone" Dodd's record label and sometimes studio was alive from the mid-'50s to the early '80s and saw the Jamaican sound go from ska to rocksteady to roots reggae. There's an amazing, deep history to be explored and even when you focus on just the groups, one disc isn't enough to tell the whole story, but this collection functions as both a killer mixtape and exciting introduction for novices. Rob Chapman's liner notes are informative, the design is up to the label's usual high standards, and there's a wonderful mix of tracks you might know, tracks you should know, and a couple of wonderful rarities that should have never fallen through the cracks. The sweet harmonies, spiritual roots music, and soul-influenced ballads are all intoxicating and you can't even began to claim a familiarity with Jamaican music history until names like the Maytals, the Heptones, and, of course, the Wailers are firmly in your back pocket. Whether you're being introduced or getting reacquainted, Studio One Groups is an easy recommendation.