Review by Midnight Raver
Groundation lyricist and front-man Harrison Stafford takes back to Jamdown on ‘One Dance,’ the new album featuring legendary reggae musicians Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace (drums), Errol “Flabba Holt” Carter (bass), Lloyd “Obeah” Denton (keyboards), and Dalton Browne (guitar). Perhaps the most authentic non-Jamaican reggae musician on the planet, Stafford has earned the respect of the Jamaican reggae music establishment with his unparalleled reverence and devotion to the roots and culture of the big music from the likkle island. Harrison’s first solo release under the name “Professor” began in 2011 with the release of the album ‘Madness’ after his pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine. Now he is touring to bring the history and the culture to the masses by way of his solo work under ‘Harrison Stafford & The Professor Crew,’ with ‘One Dance,’ which is planned for a May 13, 2016 release on Soulbeats Records.
‘One Dance’ is reggae roots and culture at its finest – nine well-written songs and three dub versions all of which are full of life, love, and eternal optimism. The album opens with the upbeat “Jah Shine,” a celebratory Rastafari anthem which kicks the album off in fine style. “Hush” is a heavy stepping tune about persistence and perseverance in the face of life’s many struggles featuring brilliant guitar work from the one and only Dalton Browne. Harrison Stafford & The Professor Crew shine brightest when they take it hard and heavy on tunes like “Young Dread” and “Balance,” two of the strongest tunes on the album. The dub versions are tightly wound and well-mixed, highlighting the brilliant players of instruments on the album. “Dub Shine” is a relentless version that goes heavy on echo and percussion – a nyahbinghi extravaganza. “One Dub” is a raw and uninhibited adventure in lo-fi, a far different sound than the slickly-produced vocal track. I don’t know how they achieved this sound but it hits hard and works perfectly.
‘One Dance’ is proof yet again that Harrison Stafford is one of the most talented musicians in reggae today – a visionary artist who is unafraid to experiment with sound. It is an album that knows no limits. Each track sounds new and refreshing. The album is a testament to the power of live musicians and instrumentation in a time when uninspired riddims are rehashed over and over again with very little thought given to the quality of the sound. This is reggae for people who love reggae.
Click the pic to get your copy of One Dance!