The Man and His Music

The Man and His Music

by Byron Lee & the Dragonaires

CD

Overview

If the music of Byron Lee and his band sounds hokey to you, then you're missing the point. Granted, this is Jamaican music at its most tourist-friendly: Lee has always followed the trends rather than set them, which means that he and his band learned to play ska in the early 1960s, when that music was peaking in popularity, then moved with the times into rocksteady, then reggae, and then soca (with occasional forays into mento and salsa as well). His band, which he led while playing bass, has always been distinguished by professionalism above all, and often by a slightly overweening slickness. But there are worse things than professionalism in pop music, and this generous compilation (which surveys nearly 50 years' worth of work) finds Lee and his crew making some genius recordings, along with a few examples of pure, synthesized dreck. The instrumentals tend to sound a bit generic, while the vocal tracks mostly shine: there are brilliant performances here by the underappreciated early reggae singer Eric "Monty" Morris (who provides most of the highlight tracks on disc one), calypso legend the Mighty Sparrow, and even Toots & the Maytals (check out this version of the classic "Bam Bam"). Even some of the dreck is fun: Lee's version of "Moon River" will be an ironic hit at any party, while the exceptionally shlock "Elizabeth Serenade" might be useful as a hint to your guests that it's time to go home. At his best, though, Byron Lee led one of the tightest and smoothest bands through some of the greatest songs and rhythms to come out of Jamaica, and if he did so in a listener-friendly way, well, good for him. (That said, feel free to skip over his tight and smooth version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song.")

Product Details

Release Date: 02/16/2010
Label: Vp Records
UPC: 0054645416528
catalogNumber: 4165

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Byron Lee & the Dragonaires   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Henry Mancini   Composer
Alton Ellis   Composer
Justin Hinds   Composer
Bob Marley   Composer
Byron Lee   Composer
Denyse Plummer   Composer
Barbara Acklin   Composer
Neil Diamond   Composer
Luther Vandross   Composer
Ken Lazarus   Composer
Keith Stewart   Composer
Roland Alphonso   Composer
Benny Andersson   Composer
Lloyd Brevett   Composer
Lloyd Campbell   Composer
Luigi Creatore   Composer
Leonard Dillon   Composer
Bobby Eli   Composer
Arnold Hennings   Composer
Neville Hinds   Composer
Lloyd Knibbs   Composer
Hugo Peretti   Composer
Richard Marx   Composer
Tommy McCook   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Jackie Mittoo   Composer
Lester Sterling   Composer
Björn Ulvaeus   Composer
Christopher Chin   Executive Producer
David Parton   Composer
Keith Lyn   Composer
Marvin Scandrick   Composer
Daron Jones   Composer
Fritz Rotter   Composer
Ronald Binge   Composer
Shelly Coburn   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Darron Grant   Composer
Hubert Giraud   Composer
Rupert Clarke   Composer
Monty Morris   Composer
H. Barnett   Composer
Phillip James   Composer
Anthony Carter   Composer
Donald Clive Davidson   Liner Notes
Kevin Lyttle   Composer
George Weiss   Composer
Linda Epstein   Composer
F. Stryker   Composer
Winfred Lovette   Composer
Michael Keith   Composer
Bryan Atkinson   Composer
S. Francisco   Composer
Thomas Bell   Composer
M. Rotha   Composer
Frederick Hibbert   Composer
Jerome Haynes   Composer
Ian Haldon   Composer
Eric L. Morris   Composer
Edward Ayong   Composer
Edith Cumberland   Composer
Don Drumond   Composer
Daymond Parker   Composer
Courtney Stills   Composer
Byron Lee OD   Executive Producer
Bennett Lazarus   Composer
Wilburn T. Cole   Composer
Vinny Barrett   Composer
Slinger Francisco   Composer
Raeon Primus   Composer
Norman I. Bergen   Composer
Leroy Calliste   Composer

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