Luciano – Qabalah Man

December 10, 2013


Mention the idea of a youthful “Reggae Revival” to any of Jamaica’s preceding generations of roots artists and the response is invariably “How can you revive what is not dead?” For these dogged exponents and exporters of the craft to the world, the last few years have not been so much a revival as a reggae vindication.

Take Luciano who, following a series of scandals in 2009, seemed to undergo a rejuvenation of his own – releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums with European and American producers that began with Frenchie’s United States of Africa. Yet whether by chance or by design, 2013 sees the Guinness-rich voiced singer back with an album whose principal helmer is a Jamaican. Al.Ta.Fa.An’s Anthony Senior is another seasoned roots stickler who this year already put out Junior Kelly’s excellent if, in places, reheated singles recap Piece Of The Pie. As you’d expect from Senior’s past releases the music is gratifyingly live instrument based with a bag of guests spanning the ages.

The new record’s title is inspired by Luciano’s interest in the Kabbalah philosophy which stresses balancing mind and matter (you may recall Qabalah is also the name of the indie label he started in the 90s with Mikey General). Seven of the fourteen tracks are produced by Senior and feature Luci’s old touring band from the Fatis Burell days, the Firehouse Crew. The remainder are split between Germany’s Oneness Records, Gentleman’s drummer Josi “Big Fingah” CoppollaMichael Edgehill AKA the artist Mikey Melody and Soljie Hamilton – the man who gave Senior his start as a youth.

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