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Onemind Presents Onemind

Jah Stitch - Dread Inna Jamdown

Kingston Sounds

  • £15.28
Genre: Dub Reggae
Format: LP
Catalogue No.: KSLP012
B/C 5060135760076
Release Date: 30th November 2020

The mighty Jah Stitch is a legend in Jamaica,making the move as so many ghetto youths have tried, from Bad Man to Music Man. He embraced the DJ Culture that he himself was an integral part of and put not one, but two musical stamps on the format. His initial Big Youth sounding chants, grow from working alongside the man on the mic. Big Youth being a fellow artist that started around the same time as Mr Stitch. The second almost spoken vibe came about after a well-documented incident that led to him being shot. He lived to tell the tale and cut some of the finest Roots, DJ cuts, with his new vocal style that many have copied but few have surpassed.

Jah Stitch (Born. Melbourne James,1949, Kingston, Jamaica) started out at a young age listening to the tunes playing out around Princess Street. He came from the same singing yard as singers Roy Shirley, Stranger Cole and The Heptones. His induction to the Sound System scene was put into action when he and a young friend called Finger, started their sound system named Fingertone. This would evolve into the now legendary Lord Tippertone Sound System, Jah Stitch’s role as leading DJ would often lead many of his fellow sparing partners, to prominence in the DJ Field. Another important meeting around this time, would be with producer Bunny Lee. They would met at various studio’s in the Kingston area, where he would be picking up various dubs for playing purposes on the sound system. A friendship was started,with suggestions of rhythms that could be suitable for voicing over. Bunny Lee seeing that reggae was moving towards this musical style, became heavily involved and was one of the main exponents in promoting and selling the music. Although Bunny Lee would be responsible for many of Mr Stitch's releases, it fell to producer Errol Holt to release Stitch's debut single 'Danger Zone'. Jah Stitch’s split from the Tippertone Sound System and then starting with the Black Harmony Sound, caused some resentment in an already turbulent time in Jamaica. This would lead to the now infamous and the afore mentioned incident, where Jah Stitch would end up being shot next to Bob Marley’s shop in Kingston’s Beeston Street. Word travelled around that the shooting was fatal, even as far as England where Bunny Lee had taken some of Jah Stitch’s material to be released. Miraculously even with a bullet passing through the side of his mouth and out the other side he did not die. A picture taken at the hospital with John Holt and Ken Boothe was sent out to reconfirm this fact. This would lead to what we touched on earlier, the second stage of Mr Stitch's career, on leaving hospital he cut the aptly named 'No Dread Can't Dead' where his style is almost spoken, over crucial rhythms and again to fine effect.

We have selected some of his best known tracks to show his knack of working a killer rhythm and dubbed vocal with an almost call and response story telling style. The opening and title track to this set Dread Inna Jamdown sees him working over John Holt's 'In The Springtime'. The second cut Dem Seek Natty Everywhere works another John Holt classic 'Forgot To Say I Love You'. Make A Joyful Noise uses Jackie Mitto's 'Drum Song' as a backdrop. Serious Thing plays with Johnny Clarke's 'Playful Forget wise'. The Best By Any Test utilises Ken Boothe's 'Moving Away', where Natty Dread Skanking roles over the Midnight Special/Rock rhythm. From Dusk Till Dawn adds a little something nice to the classic 'Three Piece Suit' rhythm, Hold on Tight turns around Johnny Clarke's version of 'I'll Be Lonely' and Love For Everyone uses Johnny's brother's Fish Clarke's cut of the same name. Pat Kelly's 'Kiss Me Each Morning' gets turned into Rock To The Beat and Jackie Mitto's instrumental 'Autumn Season' becomes Natty Going On So and Live Together In Harmony incorporates Pat Kelly's timeless 'No Love'. The CD edition carries two extra cuts, Tune Into Jumpers works over Johnny Clarke's 'Empty Chair' and Channel 1 Lesson breathes new life into Derrick Morgan's 'Blazing Fire'.

After some hits in the 1970's, the 1980's would see a short name change to Major Stitch. But we feel that his best loved moniker Jah Stitch serves the man well.
So sit back and enjoy some fine DJ Cuts from the unstoppable Mr Stitch....

No Dread Can't Dead... indeed...

Track 1 Dread Inna Jamdown
Track 2 Dem Seek Natty Everywhere
Track 3 Make A Joyful Noise
Track 4 Serious Thing
Track 5 The Best By Any Test
Track 6 Natty Dread Skanking
Track 7 From Dusk To Dawn
Track 8 Hold On Tight
Track 9 Love For Everyone
Track 10 Rock To The Beat
Track 11 Natty Going On So
Track 12 Live Together In Harmony

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