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busboy blues


At some point in 1977, Lee invited guitarist, Carl Harvey – born in Jamaica but raised in Toronto, Canada – to collaborate on an ill-considered production involving the reinterpretation of several popular international standards, ranging from Brook Benton\’s \”Rainy Night in Georgia\” to George Benson\’s \”Breezing\”. Harvey, lead guitarist with overnight funk sensations, The Crack of Dawn – the first black act in Canada to sign to a major recording label – was sufficiently gifted to secure the attention of Toots & The Maytals, but the finished article was cabaret at best.

Indefinitely shelved – presumably as soon as the good shit had all but dried up – both Lee and Harvey (who knows what became of Oswald ?) were dismayed to hear the album had reemerged as a wholly illicit vinyl release in the UK. According to Zero G Sound and Reggae Reviews: \” Without his or Harvey\’s knowledge (and thus without compensation), it came out in England in 1979 on the Cancer label… amazingly misrepresented as a Lee \”Scratch\” Perry album… \’Guitar Boogie Dub\’. \” Whatever the original intention, \”Ecstasy of Mankind\” is a lightweight affair; elevator music in a neighborhood built on bungalows and one storey pool halls.

It might have gone down well with tourists on parole at The Sheraton, but it warrants its reissue on the French label, Makasound, only in so far as yachting coke-heads would sooner waltz to Clapton than tangle with Dillinger.

The following, touching bass on the Techniques\’ hijacking of Curtis Mayfield\’s \”Queen Majesty\”, is one of few highlights.

CARL HARVEY: LATE NIGHT RAVER from \”Carl Harvey Meets The Dub Masters Bunny Lee & Prince Jammy: ECSTASY OF MANKIND\” CD (Makasound) 2005 (Jamaica / France)

#1977

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