Home    Jamaica to Toronto: Soul, Funk & Reggae 1967 - 1974

Jamaica to Toronto

Jamaica to Toronto: Soul, Funk & Reggae 1967 - 1974

Light In The Attic

LITA019CD

CD $12
Digital Download $10.99
  • Featuring such Studio One greats as Jackie Mittoo & Lloyd Delpratt
  • 36-page deluxe booklet, gatefold digipak
  • Exclusive interviews w/ each band
  • Unseen photos, posters, adverts…
  • Double-LP w/ thick-gatefold jacket

Description

In 1963, the flight from Jamaica to Toronto was 8 hours. Today it’s 3 1/2. Countless people have made the dwindling journey over the years, but in the sixties and seventies there was a new breed of traveler: the finest ska, rocksteady, and reggae recording artists the West Indies have ever produced. We’re talking Studio One, Treasure Isle, Trojan, and WIRL veterans Jackie Mittoo, Johnnie Osbourne, Wayne McGhie, Lloyd Delpratt, The Mighty Pope, Noel Ellis, Jo-Jo Bennett, and many more. Arriving in their new Canadian home, these talented singers, songwriters, musicians, and performers simply did what came naturally to them. One by one, they hit the studio and captured some of the hardest tunes this side of Kingston. Jamaica to Toronto: Soul Funk and Reggae 1967-1974, details this crucial sonic migration and stands tall as the second helping of Light In The Atti’™s new Jamaica to Toronto series, compiled by DJ/Canadian music historian Sipreano, along with Light In The Attic.

In 1963, the flight from Jamaica to Toronto was 8 hours. Today it’s 3 1/2. Countless people have made the dwindling journey over the years, but in the sixties and seventies there was a new breed of traveler: the finest ska, rocksteady, and reggae recording artists the West Indies have ever produced. We’re talking Studio One, Treasure Isle, Trojan, and WIRL veterans Jackie Mittoo, Johnnie Osbourne, Wayne McGhie, Lloyd Delpratt, The Mighty Pope, Noel Ellis, Jo-Jo Bennett, and many more. Arriving in their new Canadian home, these talented singers, songwriters, musicians, and performers simply did what came naturally to them. One by one, they hit the studio and captured some of the hardest tunes this side of Kingston. Jamaica to Toronto: Soul Funk and Reggae 1967-1974, details this crucial sonic migration and stands tall as the second helping of Light In The Attic’s new Jamaica to Toronto series, compiled by DJ/Canadian music historian Sipreano.

Jamaica to Toronto has been over three years in the making, a combination of deep crates, exhaustive research, and foundational tales presented with the same attention to detail as 2004’s Wayne McGhie & The Sounds Of Joy release (LITA 008), the initial release in the Jamaica to Toronto series. The CD version of Jamaica to Toronto is accompanied with a 36-page book, exploding with unseen archival materials and extensive liner notes.

The 16 songs on Jamaica to Toronto range from the in-demand Northern Soul attack of Eddie Spencer’s “If This Is Love (I’d Rather Be Lonely)” to Jo-Jo And The Fugitives’ unknown break-beat monster, “Chips-Chicken-Banana Split”. Taken from his 1971 album Wishbone, Mittoo’s “Grand Funk” sounds like a Jamaican Santana, while The Hitch-Hikers featuring The Mighty Pope represent raw funk of the highest order on the righteous “Mr. Fortune”. Reggae comes courtesy of dancehall don Johnnie Osbourne’s “African Wake” as well as the magical “Memories” from Noel Ellis. Jamaica to Toronto is only the beginning, so sit back and buckle your safety belt; this musical flight is about to take off…

Artist Bio

For Light In The Attic and project coordinator Sipreano, the Jamaica-Toronto series kicked off with the crucial re-release of Wayne McGhie & The Sounds Of Joy (1970), a pioneering slice of Canadian-recorded island soul from Montego Bay-born guitarist and singer Wayne McGhie. With his track “Dirty Funk” already a monster rarity and certified break-beat classic (thanks to NYC rap’s finest producers – Pete Rock and Gary G Whiz to name but two) we had to dig even deeper. By the late 1960s, Canada’s largest city was musically booming as West Indian immigrants made Toronto their new home.

The compilation Jamaica to Toronto: Soul Funk & Reggae 1967-1974 rounds up the finest forgotten 45s and engaging LP tracks from this underappreciated era. Eddie Spencer, The Hitch-Hikers (featuring The Mighty Pope), Lloyd Delpratt, and The Cougars are just a handful of the many artists who broke down racial and cultural barriers, the seeds of which eventually blossomed into a unique Canadian reggae community.

In the early 1970s, Studio One keyboard maestro Jackie Mittoo led the charge, spreading the island beat. His Wishbone album was originally released in 1971 and cooks from end-to-end with a groovy rocksteady pulse. Thanks to this hard work, there was soon a younger generation on the move.

Son of Jamaican music great and one-time Toronto resident Alton Ellis, Noel Ellis was next in line for the throne. Assisted by Mittoo and Clash favorite Willi Williams, Noel’s self-titled debut recorded in 1979 showcases a serious display of roots and reality. Originally released on Jerry Brown’s Summer Records imprint, Ellis was just one of many reggae artists who ventured to Malton, Ontario, to record (along with Half Moon’s Oswald Creary and King [then Prince] Jammy).

The Summer Records Anthology 1974-1988 captures a killer cross-section of the producer/label owner Brown’s massive talent pool. Johnny Osbourne, Earth Roots & Water, and Adrian “Homer” Miller are all represented in the expansive package, which also includes a 25-minute documentary containing never-before-seen period footage of the Canadian reggae scene.

With Earth, Roots & Water’s 1977 dub masterpiece, Innocent Youths on deck for an early 2008 release, Jamaica-Toronto’s story is far from being told. From Yard to Yonge, New York, London, Paris, and all the way over to Tokyo, we are proud to present these now global sounds to music lovers everywhere.

Preview Tracklist

  • 1 Fugitive Song
    2:48
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  • 2 If This Is Love (I'd Rather Be Lonely)
    2:50
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  • 3 Chips - Chicken - Banana Split
    2:23
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  • 4 Grand Funk
    2:59
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  • 5 Together
    2:33
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  • 6 I Wish It Would Rain
    4:35
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  • 7 African Wake
    2:43
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  • 8 Love Is The Answer
    2:41
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  • 9 I Believe In Music
    4:43
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  • 10 Eternal Love
    3:08
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  • 11 Fire (She Need Water)
    3:38
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  • 12 Right On
    2:51
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  • 13 You're So Good To Me Baby
    2:39
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  • 14 Mr. Fortune
    2:45
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  • 15 Memories
    7:00
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  • 16 Here We Go Again
    3:05
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