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Tuesday, Aug 20 2013 | 00:31
Image: 1582608 Re-issue of the 1979 album comes with superb sleeve-notes by reggae expert Roger Steffens who was a friend of Joe Higgs and spent much time reasoning with him. LP vinyl is 180 gram heavyweight - an excellent package!

- Joe Higgs (born Joseph Benjamin Higgs, born 3rd June 1940 – r.i.p. 18th December 1999) was a reggae musician from Jamaica. In the late 1950s and 1960s he was part of the duo Higgs and Wilson together with Roy Wilson. He was a popular artist in Jamaica for four decades and is also known for his work tutoring younger musicians including The Wailers and Jimmy Cliff!

Side A
1. Devotion
2. One Man Kutchie
3. Unity Is Power
4. Gold Or Silver
5. Love Can't Be Wrong
Side B
1. Vineyard
2. Small World
3. Think Of The Moment
4. Sadness Is A Part Of My heart
5. Sons Of Garvey

Drums: Santa Davis
Bass: Bagga Walker & Boris Gardiner
Guitar: Sangie Davis & Joe Higgs & Stephen Coore & Dalton Brownie
Synthesiser: Keith Sterling
Piano: Harold Butler & Paul Dixon
Organ: Keith Sterling
Electric Piano: Keith Sterling
Trumpet: Arnold Breckenridge & Vivian Hall & Donald Greaves
Trombone: Nambo Robinson
Tenor Saxophone: Cedric Im Brooks & Enroy Grant
Harmonica: Stephen Coore
Congos: Joe Higgs
Percussions: Alvin Haughton

Vocals: Joe Higgs
Backing Vocals: Blossom Johnson & Camile Lewis & Pamela
Backing Band: Sylvia Richards

Recorded at Aquarius Studos (Kingston, JA)
Engineer: Jimmy Radway & Boris Gardiner
Producer: Joe Higgs & Ronnie Burke


Excerpt from the booklet:

"Edward Seaga was my first manager. I always got paid." Joe Higgs  

Joe Higgs, one of reggae’s most influential forces, truly lived a life of contradiction – hence the title of his first album.

His road was as bumpity as a Jamaican back country trail, with dashed hopes and a sprinkling of triumphs, enough to earn him the sobriquet of "The Father of Reggae Music" while living mostly in poverty.

"I was born on June 3, 1940, same as Curtis Mayfield. My father was a fireman on a ship, he was a triplet, and his mother had 23 sons: three twins and two triplets among 23 kids – all boys! My father was the only one who stayed in Jamaica." Joe Higgs.

When the nucleus of the Wailers formed, Joe said he was "teaching them to wail. I started to teach them to sing harmony, structuring and all those different things, basic principles of singing. Also how to utilize breath control, which is what we call technique and craft, how to try to preserve as much energy as you can. Sound consciousness. How to use and measure lyrics by virtue of syllables, how to adjust measurement, meter, timing. It took me years to teach Bob Marley what sound consciousness was about. Tosh too. They often couldn’t find the key.

It has often been said of Joe that he was ahead of time, which stifled him in terms of popular acceptance. He was aware of the criticism. "I like phrasing my voice like an instrument. I love jazz. People will always be ahead of people. Some walk, some run, some creep. I'm not concerned about success. Music is my teacher. But it’s not good to be ahead of time, because life is a progression."

In 1979 Joe released his second album, "Unity is Power." Its cuts included love songs and an herbal observation, plus the standout title track and "Sons of Garvey," originally recorded as a duet with Jimmy Cliff on his Sunpower label. An all-star lineup joined him in March of 1978 at the Aquarius Studio in Kingston for his self-produced sessions, including Santa Davis on drums, Bagga Walker and Boris Gardner on bass, Cat Coore on guitar, Keith Sterling on all the keyboards, Cedric ‘Im Brooks on tenor sax and Joe himself on congas. Available from 30.08.2013
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