May 13, 2011, at 10:02 pm

Jumping The Shuffle Blues

Jumping The Shuffle BluesOut on the 30th May on Fantastic Voyage records is a three CD release entitled Jumping The Shuffle Blues: Jamaican Sound System Classics 1946-1960.

The promotional copies of this release come with an inkjet printed cover, no sleeve notes and CDR disks but I assume this will be properly and professionally presented when it’s officially released. No information is given regarding the source of these recording except to note that many are appearing on CD for the first time. Unsurprisingly the earliest tunes particularly are not the greatest quality but nothing is terrible and overall this sounds fine.

Later For The Gator – Willis Jackson

The 85 tunes spread over the three disks showcase the kind of sounds that were popular in Jamaica and being played on sound systems prior to the emergence of the Jamaican recording industry. Disc one presents the earliest sounds from 1946-51, the second 1951-54 and the last 1955-60. You get the full mix here from raucous and raw early Rhytm and Blues through to a much more polished sound with crooners and ballads alongside the odd nod to Jazz and doo wop.

Many of these tunes are well known in the world of Jamaican music; Later For The Gator by Willis Jackson for example was covered up by Clement Dodd and became the theme tune for his Coxsone Downbeat set in the 50’s. Many others, such as Amos Milburn’s One Scotch One Bourbon One Beer and Barbie Gaye’s My Boy Lollipop were covered by Jamaican artists.

KC Lovin’ (AKA Kansas City) – Little Willie Littlefield

The concept behind this release isn’t new, EMI/Stateside put out two volumes called Original Jamaican Soundsystem Style a few years ago and more recently there has been double CD titled Looking Back: The Jamaican Chart hits ’58 and ’59 from Sunspot/Sunrise (the latter mixes popular American releases alongside home grown Jamaican talent). There is no duplication between Jumping The Shuffle Blues and the Looking Back release but there is a fair bit with the earlier EMI releases, however even if you already own these there is certainly more than enough new material to justify buying this too.

Dumplin’s – Doc Bagby

It’s likely that we’ll se an increasing amount of this material coming out. Anything recorded up to 1960 is effectively in the public domain now as the copyright relating to recorded music expires after 50 years (the time period differs between countries but it’s commonly 50 years incuding in the UK). Putting it simply this means that this music can be legally reissued by anyone without licensing or paying anything to the original artists or their estates. As we progress into the mid 60’s and ska and later rocksteady is included things could become very interesting indeed, as there will be a real flixibility to cross between producers, seek out obscure artists and access catalogues that were previously all but unavailable (such as Prince Busters). If this can be done with quality sound reproduction and decent presentation that treats the music with the respect it deserves then this whole new era can only be welcomed.

The compiler of this compilation, Phil Etgart, has confirmed that there will be full sleeve notes etc.

5 comments to Jumping The Shuffle Blues

  • I am Roy Wilson.I am not dead.I live in Florida West Palm Beach.Everyone thinks I am dead,or they don’t know where I am.I am still alive and kicking.

  • Bernard

    Prince Buster must have a very hefty catalogue of recordings that many of us would lap up if they were to be released. I gather there is a reluctance on his part to licence release for financial reasons but surely he must realise that in a few years they come out of copyright so he makes no money at all if others have access to the catalogue. Is there any news of progress?

    There is a relatively paltry amount of Prince Buster material on CD at present. Which are the must haves?

  • Tim P

    Roy Wilson – if you read this please contact me at

    Bernard – exactly, there is a decent CD’s worth of Busters earliest productions that goes into the public domain next year. And year by year it will only get better. I fear if he doesn’t act very very soon there will be little left to licence – still he is supposed to be ill – maybe he can’t do it at the moment even if he’d want to.

  • Mike Murphy aka bmd

    Hey Tim, thought I’d let your blog viewers know that there is an interview on Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio with Phil all about this release.
    Hey and Roy if you are reading this again, PLEASE CONTACT TIM, We are all big Higgs and Wilson fans!

  • Hey Mr Wilson.
    Thank you for the music.
    “There is a reward” 🙂

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