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Trojan Box Set: Nyahbinghi

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7/1/2003

Review

The idiosyncratic sound of traditional Rastafarian drumming and chanting -- known as Nyahbinghi music -- has been a constant influence on ska and reggae since the earliest days. That influence has mostly been subtle and implicit, though some artists have been more open than others in their use of its musical elements. And although its influence on reggae is real, Nyahbinghi music is not reggae; it generally uses no electric instruments (or even melody instruments, though these appear from time to time), and the Nyahbinghi singing style is heavily influenced by traditional American gospel music. This budget-priced, three-disc box set gathers a nice cross-section of traditional Nyahbinghi songs and Nyahbinghi-inflected reggae from the seemingly bottomless vaults of Trojan Records; it includes material by such obvious candidates as Count Ossie (whose Grounation album of 1973 remains the standard work for this style of music) and the modern Nyah-reggae fusioneers Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus (who also appear on this album under the name Dadawah), as well as work by such lesser-known names as Boston Jack and the Soulites and Samuel the First. Some tracks, such as Bongo Herman's "Vice President" and I-Roy's DJ cut on Lloyd Daley's brilliant "Repatriation" rhythm, are examples of straight-ahead reggae using the Nyahbinghi influence to spice up the mix, while Count Ossie and Ras Michael provide a window on the music's deepest traditions. Taken together, this is a fine overview of the state of this very old art. Highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Keep Cool Babylon Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus 3:13
  3. 2 Know Far I 2:39
  4. 3 Back to Africa, Pt. 1 Count Ossie & His Band 2:30
  5. 4 Rivers of Babylon [Cover] Prince Student 3:20
  6. 5 Rise Jah Jah Childern (The Lion Sleeps) Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus 2:12
  7. 6 African Breakfast 3:22
  8. 7 Rasta Reggae (aka I'm Going Home) 3:39
  9. 8 Run Come Rally Dadawah 7:40
  10. 9 Roll River Jordan [Cover] Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus 2:43
  11. 10 Salaam (Peace) 3:15
  12. 11 Ethiopian Kingdom 3:1
  13. 12 Drums of Passion Morgan's All Stars 2:43
  14. 13 We're Marching on to Victory 4:43
  15. 14 Tribute to Don Quarrie Bongo Herman 3:12
  16. 15 Soul Drums 2:51
  17. 16 Rasta Dreadlocks Heaven Singers 3:5
  18. 17 Words of Wisdom Max Romeo 2:46
  19. 1 Run Come (Throw Away Your Stoney Heart) Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus 3:35
  20. 2 Dew of Herman (aka Eternal Drums) 2:29
  21. 3 Move Up (Nyah Bongo) 3:23
  22. 4 Burning Drums Dadawah 3:29
  23. 5 Carnal Mind 3:7
  24. 6 Earth's Rightful Ruler 2:35
  25. 7 Nyah Man Story Linkers 3:6
  26. 8 Reggae With the Birds Bongo Herman & The Harry J All Stars 3:12
  27. 9 Jah Got the Whole World Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus 2:48
  28. 10 Rack-A-Tack Typhoon All Stars 2:43
  29. 11 Seventy Two Nations Dadawah 10:43
  30. 12 Water Pump Bongo Herman 2:41
  31. 13 Rastaman Chant Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus 4:18
  32. 14 Samia Mystic Revelation of Rastafari 3:45
  33. 15 Sounds of Babylon [Cover] Samuel the First 3:42
  34. 16 Tribute to the President Bongo Herman 3:39
  35. 1 Nyah Man Say 2:56
  36. 2 Freedom Fighter 3:32
  37. 3 A Ju Ju Wah 3:33
  38. 4 Zion Land Dadawah 9:51
  39. 5 I Dread Version Count Ossie & His Band 2:40
  40. 6 Cast Them in the Fire 3:40
  41. 7 Feel Nice 3:12
  42. 8 Bongo Man (A Come) Jimmy Cliff 3:59
  43. 9 Blacker Black Count Ossie & His Band 3:11
  44. 10 Pretty Little Face 3:27
  45. 11 Vice President Bongo Herman 2:45
  46. 12 Know How You Stand Dadawah 10:23
  47. 13 Back to Africa, Pt. 2 Count Ossie & His Band 2:35
  48. 14 Stravation 3:3
  49. 15 Come Down (Pomps and Pride) 4:2
  50. 16 Musical Drum Sound I-Roy 2:48
  51. 17 Musical Drum Sound Now Generation 2:32

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