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Lynn Taitt

Born Jamaica 1946, Lyn Taitt was the most important musician and arranger of the Rocksteady era and his trademark guitar playing can be heard on many of the best records from this period

His passion for music began as a child, playing in steel pan bands before picking up the guitar at the age of 14. He then moved to Trinidad where he fronted his own band and it was with this band that he returned to Jamaica in 1962 to play at the Independence celebrations organised by Byron Lee. He decided to remain in Jamaica and began playing with popular live bands The Sheiks (with Jackie Mittoo), The Cavaliers, The Comets and, later, The Skatalites

Next he formed his own band, Lynn Taitt and The Jets along with the singer Hopeton Lewis and pianist Gladstone ?Gladdy? Anderson and in late 1966 they recorded a series of songs at Federal Studios for the Merritone label that would completely transform Jamaican music and usher in the new era of Rocksteady. ?Take It Easy?, ?Sounds and Pressure?, ?Cool Collie? (the first marijuana song ever recorded in Jamaica) and ?Rock Steady? were much slower than Ska which, up until then, had been the order of the day. With these new tracks the bass and drums were mixed much more prominently than they had been with Ska and the old style ?walking bassline? which had been adapted from US R?n?B gave way to a repeated pattern that syncopated the rhythm. These infectious new records soon topped the charts and Lynn Taitt and his band became household names

For the next few years they were in great demand and recorded for just about every label and producer on the island including WIRL, Duke Reid?s Treasure Isle, Bunny Lee, Sonia Pottinger and Derrick Harriott. He also tasted international chart success with tracks such as ?Hold Me Tight? and ?Cupid? when the American soul singer Johnny Nash came to Jamaica to record at Federal. Lyn Taitt was more than just another musician ? he shaped the sound of Jamaican music in the mid to late 60s

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