10 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In Concert: The Best of Jimmy Cliff is somewhat misleadingly titled; the album is not a compilation but rather documents a single 1975 concert. But over the decades it has rightfully become the centerpiece of Cliff’s discography and as instantly familiar as any more traditionally assembled “best of.” On In Concert his voice takes center stage, particularly on his solemn reading of “Many Rivers to Cross.” Cliff takes the song at a deliberate, slow stepping tempo redolent of its traditional gospel arrangement, before guitarist extraordinaire Ernest Ranglin takes over, turning the song into an epic meditation on rhythmic dynamics. The band that Cliff assembled for this performance included many of Jamaica’s finest instrumentalists, and it is truly a wonder to hear the near supernatural chemistry that exists between Cliff and these musicians as they respond to his every spontaneous burst of sermonizing or improvised inflection. In Concert is surely one of the finest live reggae albums ever recorded and it stands as the unquestioned high point of Jimmy Cliff’s career.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In Concert: The Best of Jimmy Cliff is somewhat misleadingly titled; the album is not a compilation but rather documents a single 1975 concert. But over the decades it has rightfully become the centerpiece of Cliff’s discography and as instantly familiar as any more traditionally assembled “best of.” On In Concert his voice takes center stage, particularly on his solemn reading of “Many Rivers to Cross.” Cliff takes the song at a deliberate, slow stepping tempo redolent of its traditional gospel arrangement, before guitarist extraordinaire Ernest Ranglin takes over, turning the song into an epic meditation on rhythmic dynamics. The band that Cliff assembled for this performance included many of Jamaica’s finest instrumentalists, and it is truly a wonder to hear the near supernatural chemistry that exists between Cliff and these musicians as they respond to his every spontaneous burst of sermonizing or improvised inflection. In Concert is surely one of the finest live reggae albums ever recorded and it stands as the unquestioned high point of Jimmy Cliff’s career.

TITLE TIME

More By Jimmy Cliff

You May Also Like