Aswad

Aswad

Aswad

This is as sweet a slice of mid-’70s reggae as you’re likely to find. Never purists, Aswad nudge soul and jazz into these sophisticated compositions, and the result can be exhilarating: Listen to Donald Griffiths’ guitar engage in a blues-style call-and-response with Brinsley Forde’s voice on “I a Rebel Soul,” or Drummie Zeb channeling soul on “Back to Africa.” The connections make intuitive sense, but they also expand reggae’s palette in marvelous ways. Dub also gets its due in “Ethiopian Rhapsody’s” sparse, clattering atmospherics.

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