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Rico Rodriguez: Man from Wareika / Wareika Dub

Another legendary, iconic, even holy album in reggae history that you can never do justice to with a small review. The aura of a masterpiece has taken hold of this album too much for an unbiased, perhaps even critical, look at it to be possible. So I don't even try. Here is Rico Rodriguez's masterpiece "Man from Wareika“(Iceland) as a high-quality re-release, with many bonus tracks (in some cases even previously unreleased) and above all with a very special treat: The Dub-Version "Wareika Dub", Which first saw the light of day in 1977 in small numbers as a white label. In other words, a fat double package that gives you the opportunity to listen to this - probably somewhat forgotten - work again. I did it and was kind of amazed. I hadn't remembered that it had such incredible jazz appeal. In addition, there are a lot of ska echoes (especially with the title track). Now I also understand why contemporary media spoke of Rico having invented a new genre: Jamaican jazz. This view is not entirely absurd - especially since the dry sound of the recordings is also typical of jazz. Rico - a graduate of Alpha Boys School - was first heard on record on "Easy Snapping", recorded in 1958 by Theophilius Beckford in Studio One. Before his career really took off, he emigrated to England in 1961 and accompanied the musical revolution that took place in his homeland in the following years from exile. In 1976 he recorded a demo instrumental for Island Records: "Africa", which immediately earned him the contract for an entire album. If "Africa" ​​was still being produced in England, he now took the opportunity to return to Jamaica and there, at Randy's and Joe Gibbs, with the popular studio musicians of the time (including Sly & Robbie, Ansel Collins, Lloyd Parks, Junior Marvin , Scully Simms) to record the entire album. Because the album was so hugely successful, the Dub- Version commissioned by Errol Thompson and Karl Pitterson. A Dub-Version? It sounds like a pretty crazy idea at first to mute Rico's trombone playing because that would do to one Dub-Mix will inevitably be the case for large parts. And - what can I say - it was and is indeed a crazy idea. Rico's trombone gives way to drum & bass, even if it comes out briefly at crucial points. But strange: the absence of the lead instrument creates a peculiar tension that is not at all unattractive. Therefore I put forward the daring thesis that specifically this Dub-Album only shows its full strength in combination with the instrumental album. Seen in this light, this double CD is the historically ideal format for Rico's music. And then there are the 15 (!) Bonus tracks that dilute the conceptual approach of the double album a little, but still offer a decent added value. By the way, my favorite can also be found under the bonus material: "Take Five", Rico's grandiose interpretation of Dave Brubeck's jazz classic, as a 12 "showcase mix.

4 replies to “Rico Rodriguez: Man from Wareika / Wareika Dub"

A milestone in reggae history for me too! That came a few years ago Dub-Album out as (bootleg?) - vinyl, it also has a great atmosphere! The bonus tracks don't knock me out sooooo ... But: where is the fifth star ???

I am always very reluctant to give a rerelease five stars. In 1977 the album would undoubtedly have deserved it, but today it is of course no longer state of the art. The historical significance is outstanding, but its aesthetic value has logically been relativized by the further development of the genre. But I admit: this view is worth discussing.

Reply

“Man From Wareika” was one of the first albums that had nothing to do with Bob Marley or the Wailers. I've only been on a reggae trip consciously since 1980. 1978 I had heard “Babylon By Bus” up and down as a cassette. But I haven't really thought about reggae, Rastafari and certainly not about Dub made. In order not to create a wrong impression, I have to mention that I still don't know much about Rastafari.
But I also keep wondering why I like things like “Man From Wareika in Dub“On vinyl …… .. Well, maybe I can close this gap soon.

Greetings ………… lemmi

... .. one of the first albums, that (or which) nothing ......

German is really difficult sometimes ;-)

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