Mojo Rocksteady Beat
Soul Jazz Records
The Sound Dimension have recorded some of the most important songs in Reggae music; songs such as Real Rock, Drum Song, Heavy Rock, Rockfort Rock, In Cold Blood - all classic songs that have become the foundation of Reggae music, endlessly versioned and re-versioned by Jamaican artists since the time they were first recorded to the present day. As the in-house band at Studio One in the late 1960s, The Sound Dimension also played alongside everyone from The Heptones, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Marcia Griffiths and more. Similar to their US counterparts The Funk Brothers at Motown and Booker T and The MGs at Stax, The Sound Dimension recorded on a daily basis incredibly catchy and funky tunes matched by a seamless musicality. Featuring musicians of the calibre of Ernest Ranglin, Jackie Mittoo, Eric Frater, Leroy Sibbles, Don Drummond Jnr, Deadley Headley and more, the Sound Dimension existed from around 1967-70 and all the recordings featured here were originally released during this period. For a band with a fluid line-up, they had an amazingly consistent sound laying down classic rhythms for the singers of the day at Studio One as well as stretching out with their own recordings. Check out the amazing trombone of Vin Gordon, rightly re-named Don Drummond Jnr by Sir Coxsone, honouring both the musical abilities of the young Gordon, and that of his forerunner in the Skatalites and ex-Alpha Boys teacher, Don Drummond. His sparring partner on horns would usually be Deadly Headley Bennett. The Sound Dimension featured a unique combination of musicians from different backgrounds, such as those from the original jazz big bands on the island or players from the north coast hotel music circuit; listen to Park View and hear the two unique styles of Eric Rickenbacker Frater, with his fuzz-box lead guitar, duelling with the jazz virtuosity of fellow guitarist Ernest Ranglin. After Jackie Mittoo officially emigrated to Canada in 1968 (although often continuing to return for sessions), keyboard duties were also supplied by the equally funky Richard Ace or Robbie Lyn all against the rhythmic bass-lines of the Heptones own Leroy Sibbles. None of this can explain the importance of this music. Real Rock, Mojo Rocksteady, Rockfort Rock, Drum Song, In Cold Blood - the melodies to these classic songs are a thousand times better known than the musicians who originally created them. Played and re-played by every house band for every producer on the island, these iconic rhythms became the basis for dancehall and laid the foundations for the future of Jamaican music. This album can be seen as a companion to the earlier Sound Dimension release Jamaica Soul Shake and together these two albums make a unique and definitive document of a seriously important set of recordings.