Sep 02, 2014
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Posts tagged: Otis Redding

Toppa Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Reggae Otis Tributes

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton

If you read the internet, you have probably come across this song “Otis” by Kanye West and Jay-Z (AKA The Throne) which has got everybody talking about what the loop of “Try A Little Tenderness” that is the song’s spinal column means for Otis Redding’s legacy. And if you read LargeUp, you know that anything rappers can do, somebody in Jamaica has probably done already. And better. Without further ado we present the Toppa Top 10 reggae covers of Otis, who along with Curtis Mayfield and his idol Sam Cooke was hugely popular in Jamaica–and a powerful influence on the evolution of rocksteady and the fledgeling genre of reggae.

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Junkanoo Jump-up: Exclusive Jay Mitchell Interview

Words by Jonathan Cunningham, cover images from Soundological Investimigations

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Searching for Caribbean funk legend Jay Mitchell in his native land of the Bahamas isn’t as easy as one would assume. The enigmatic 64-year-old singer is arguably one of the biggest musical exports the Bahamas has ever had, a sort of Mighty Sparrow type figure at the opposite end of the Caribbean island chain. But rather than focus on calypso like Sparrow or Lord Kitchner before him, Mitchell was a key figure in the Funky Nassau movement of the late ’60s and ’70s with a sound that was equal parts James Brown, tropical funk, and Bahamian Goombay. Considering that Florida is so close to Bahamian shores, some of the first records that Jay Mitchell and the Mitchellites cut were far closer to American soul (think Wilson Pickett or the Funk Brothers) than more traditional Bahamian styles of music like Junkanoo, Goombay, and rake ‘n’ scrape. Jams such as “Funky Fever,” “I’m the Man For You Baby” and his searing, eight minute version of “Mustang Sally” were all Stax-worthy releases that could have been large international hits had they not come out on the little known GBI Records based out of Freeport, Bahamas.

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