CD Review: Various, Retro Respeck

Retro RespeckVarious Artists
[Eight76 Records]

“Retro Respeck” is one of those various artistes compilation albums, which is a “must have” for lovers of good Jamaican music! Here is an offering of popular classic songs (mainly R&B) reinvented by some of the industry’s best voices, familiar and unfamiliar ones.

Contributions come from established veterans like Marcia Griffiths, ET Webster, Sharon Forrester, Dennis Malcolm, Jack Radics, and new and upcoming voices Evette, YahBreeze, Fiona, Karma Faith, Chrisinti, and Maurice.

“Retro Respeck” is an album that caters to the various tastes, genres, and spectrum of Jamaican music. All the flavours are sampled here! New interpretations of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ by Jack Radics pumps new life and interest into a song that has been re-recorded so many times. Radics’ treatment of this song is very characteristic of his ability to rejuvenate old standards, as he has done so many times before. The same can be said of Passion’s working of Denise Williams’ ‘Free’, and Marcia Griffiths’ beautiful reading of the Sam Dees’ composed ‘Special Occasion’, of which Dorothy Moore gave a remarkable rendition in 1979. This track is definitely one of my favorites on “Retro Respeck.”

Other excellent tracks, in addition to those already mentioned, include the Four Tops’ ‘When She Was My Girl’ by cabaret singer Dennis Malcolm, ‘Searched For Love’ by Chrisinti, the R&B leaning ‘Here I Am (Come And Take Me)’ by Evette. The Supremes’ ‘Stoned Love’ is nicely done by Karma Faith, ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ by Fiona gives the Thelma Houston classic a smooth and sophisticated treatment, while ‘Ain’t No Stopping Us’ by YahBreeze is a moving and welcome tribute to the late John Whitehead of McFadden & Whitehead fame (and co-writer of this evergreen) and to the Sound of Philadelphia era.

Pay close attention to both ‘It’s So Nice To See Old Friends’ by Sharon Forrester, and ‘Where Is The Love’ by Maurice. Additionally, there are two original numbers, ‘Rock Me’ by YahBreeze and ‘Right By Me’ with Karma Faith, both written or co-written by the producers of “retro Respeck,” the husband and wife team of Kenroy and Myshjua Archibald. As arrangers, they have also hired the services of some of the best musicians in providing this outstanding music.

The support and encouragement of fans will certainly go a long way in having Eight76 Records continue producing and releasing CDs of this high calibre. “Retro Respeck” is very highly recommended. Don’t miss out on the chance to have a masterpiece among your collection!

 




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