Toen ik Cut d’n’ Mix nog eens uit mijn boekenkast haalde – overigens voor de verkeerde reden, ik dacht er een citaat van Jean Genet in aan te treffen maar het bewuste citaat bleek eigenlijk in Subculture: The Meaning of Style te staan, een ander boek van Dick Hebdige – werd ik getroffen door het opschrift:
Het zinnetje was me nooit eerder opgevallen en toen ik George Oban googelde, bleek dat de brave man afgelopen januari overleden was.
Ooit speelde Oban bas in Aswad, een Britse reggaeband.
Zijn nummer “Crazy Beat” (1985), dat hij opnam als Motion, staat op Bill Brewsters compilatie Tribal Rites die op Eskimo Recordings uitkwam.
Robbie Shakespeare was a bass player who, with his partner Sly Dunbar, formed the most influential reggae rhythm section between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s.
I found out about Robbie’s death in De Standaard in which Karel Michiels wrote a knowledgeable obituary. Michiels had struck me before when writing about the death of Bunny Wailer. When I came home I googled him. I found out he is a reggae musician in his own right and performs under the name Jah Shakespeare.
What is my history with Sly and Robbie?
I think a friend of mine had a tape of Taxi Gang (a Sly and Robbie moniker) with her when I traveled to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in the early 1990s.
When I collected records during the late 1990s and early 2000s, I found a copy of “Don’t Stop the Music”, a track which they recorded under the moniker Bits & Pieces, a cover of the disco song.
And then there is “Boops (Here To Go)” (1987) produced by Bill Laswell. This I first heard in Tom Tom Club in Antwerp. When I tried to find it in the internet era, it took me some time, thinking the lyrics were, “civil check, arms open wide” in stead of “Si boops deh. With arms open wide”.
Compass Point houseband
Besides all this, the duo are central to what is perhaps my favorite recording studio. I am referring to Compass Point, where Sly and Robbie were central to the house band Compass Point All Stars. Everybody played there, perhaps most central to my universe, Serge Gainsbourg.
The Padlock EP
And, to conclude: Robbie also did the bass line on that unforgettable record Padlock EP (1983) by Gwen Guthrie, produced by Larry Levan.
Gary Peacock was an American jazz double-bassist. He recorded a dozen albums under his own name, and also performed and recorded with major jazz figures such as Albert Ayler, Paul Bley, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett and Tony Williams.
On Life Time (Blue Note, 1964), Gary Peacock plays bass on tracks one to three.