This Is...

(Above Rock) Used LP $12.50

A 1997 edition of one of the greatest collections of Jamaican instrumental music and an essential part of reggae history. With future Wailer Tyrone Downie on keyboards, Aston “Family Man” Barrett, “Fully” Fullwood and Lloyd Parks on bass, Carlton Barrett, “Santa” Davis and Lloyd “Tin Leg” Adams on drums and Earl “Chinna” Smith on guitar, Errol Thompson at the mixer, the simmering rootsy sound percolates with reggae beats and minor keys that conjure wondrous atmospheres. Many of the melodies are variations on classic songs, or, in the case of “Jah Rock” (a version of “Ol’ Man River”), Hollywood greats. The music swings across the spectrum from the classically tinged “Please Survive” to the almost poppy “Pretty Baby,” encompassing the deep dub of “Point Blank” and “Pablo in Dub” to the jaunty “Too Late.”