In 1973 reggae singer Jimmy Cliff set the music and cultural world afire when along with a cast of amateur actors he starred in a film set in obscure Jamaica featuring local musicians playing a virtually unknown music. The Harder They Come firmly established reggae and opened the door for other world beat music. Twenty-eight years later, and long after the death of third-world superstars like Bob Marley and Toots, world beat music is as vital and inspiring as ever.
One World Tribe, one of the area's most popular live bands and a major proponent of reggae-funk-world beat music, has just released
The World Today,
a collection of seven stunning original tunes.
The sound quality on this CD is probably the best I've heard all year; the clarity of the mix and the separation of instruments is remarkable considering there are over 12 musicians including seven singers, six percussionists, a couple keyboards, two guitars and a bass.
The musicianship is impeccable and One World Tribe keeps the energy level poppin', just as they do in their live shows.
This is the CD to spin when you want everyone at your party to get off their butts and start sweating.
Outstanding songs include "Touba" a mid-tempo grooving tune with right-on world rhythms, a beautifully clean guitar solo, and completely unintelligible lyrics (probably because they're in a foreign language).
The tune is written by percussionist M'Baye Rama Diagne.
Another great song is "Tell Them", a "message" reggae tune as authentic as anything Yellowman, Peter Tosh or any of the masters have put out.
"Resistance" is worth noting, too, for its great vocal harmony and inexorable pulling rhythm.
While influences from Marley to Earth, Wind & Fire can be heard on