Small Axe supremo Ray Hurford re-publishes the Rhythm Wise books he and co-writer Jean Scrivener first published back in 1989, in which the two attempted to document a selection of classic reggae songs that accrued enough different versions to qualify as a "rhythm". So, for instance, a dip in the book reveals the Abyssinians classic Satta Massa Gana, originally recorded in 1969, since when the song has been recorded countless times by other artists from Johnny Clarke to Third World. But the rhythm itself has been re-recorded or "versioned" to carry new songs even more times since. In fact its likely that every producer in the business worth his salt has his own cut of the "riddim" in preparation for that inevitable day when no other vehicle for his artists will suffice. Not all of the songs countless offspring are listed, but Ray does insert the footnote nugget that the horn line at least was inspired by Batman theme writer Neal Hefti's 1966 track The Mafista!
A5 Paperback: 203 pages
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