Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Duff Review: Sharon Jones and Ticklah: "How Long Do I Have to Wait for You?" b/w "How Long Do I Have to Dub for You?"

Daptone Records
7" Single

Soul music's powerful influence on ska, rocksteady, and reggae is readily manifest on numerous recordings throughout this genre's history, from the sixties (with artists like Laurel Aitken, Jimmy Cliff, Alton Ellis, Marcia Griffiths, Phyllis Dillon, Slim Smith, and Joe Higgs, to name a few) up to the present day (Babylove & the van Dangos, Green Room Rockers, The Bullets, and The Bluebeats, amongst many more). Yet rarely is there such a direct and potent intersection between practitioners of each style as there is in the versioning of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' funkified soul tune "How Long Do I Have to Wait For You?" (from their 2005 Naturally album) by ace dub/reggae keyboardist and producer Ticklah.

Ticklah (AKA Victor Axelrod, who is a member of Antibalas, the Easy Star All-Stars, and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings) has taken Sharon Jones' luscious, pleading vocals from the original soul version of this track (a stunner in itself) and then re-recorded all of the instrumental tracks on his own in an early reggae manner--and the results are extraordinary. The song seems timeless, as most classic tunes do. It could have been recorded in the late 60s in Kingston or yesterday in the UK. The flip side features Ticklah's excellent keyboard-heavy dub of this cut. While this isn't a new release (I just happened to come across it at Ernie B's Reggae and ordered it--though it was released in 2008), it is a real treasure that shouldn't be missed by fans of soulful rocksteady and early reggae.

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