Boomkat Product Review:
King Jammy Presents: Dennis Brown Tracks of Life - the work of two reggae icons – Dennis Brown and King Jammy.
"Producer King Jammy is celebrated as a transitional figure in music production, who, after helping define mixing and studio engineering in the late 70s, utterly reshaped the Jamaican musical landscape in 1985 with Wayne Smith’s “Under Mi Sleng Teng,” the first digital mega hit the genre had experienced.
Dennis Brown Tracks of Life draws largely on studio recordings that Jammy produced for the late reggae superstar Dennis Emmanuel Brown in 1984-1985, which would become the Greensleeves LP Slow Down. “[Slow Down] was the first Dennis Brown album I did,” recalls King Jammy. “I record that album in London, and it was strictly live music, acoustic music. And to me, Dennis Brown sounded better when we did live riddims [instrumental rhythm tracks]. I wanted to bring this [project] from the older songs. The older songs mean a lot more to me because they’re original, most of them, and they sound the way I like, on live riddim. I brought forth the original first album, but then I had some songs with Dennis Brown on some computer riddims, and they’re hit songs. So I incorporated those [also].”
Dennis Brown was the most popular singer in reggae at the time of the original recordings, and King Jammy found him in prime form, recording what would become enduring tracks “It’s Magic,” “Live and Love,” and “Joy In The Morning.” For Tracks of Life, King Jammy went back to the Slow Down master tapes (and several from other projects) and brought veteran and new generation reggae and dancehall stars to the studio to write and sing new lyrics in combination with Dennis Brown.
“All the artists on the album are lovers of Dennis Brown’s music. Whether they’re old or they’re young, all of these artists on the album have Dennis Brown as one of their favourite singers.” Artists on the project include Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Alborosie, Busy Signal, Bounty Killer & Dawn Penn, Protoje, Romain Virgo, Agent Sasco, Josey Wales, and newcomers Aza Lineage, Jesse Royal, and Projexx, among others.”