Beirut (Bonus Track)
Beirut version (Bonus Track)
A characteristically stunning instrumental set recorded by top-rate tenor man Tommy McCook, a veteran of The Skatalites whose crisp horn lines and incisive arrangements grace many of the most essential Jamaican recordings of the roots era. McCook recorded this particular set in the late ‘70s with the assistance of producer Butler Riley. In addition to crafting a number of original rhythms, such as the loping “Bad Man” and the sweetly swinging “Caution,” the pair borrowed a number of basic instrumental rhythms from Winston Riley, a producer whose Techniques label McCook had recorded for regularly. Every tune here is excellent, though the storming “Bam Bam” (a hard-skanking number that recalls some of the aggression, if not the frantic tempos, of McCook’s days with The Skatalites) may be the best. Pressed in extremely limited quantities upon its original release, the set was nearly impossible to come by for decades. Pressure Sounds has done McCook fans a real service by making Reggae in Jazz available again.