Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Pablo hits the right summer notes

As the sound of the melodica trickled out of my car speakers last evening, I had convinced myself: AUGUSTUS PABLO is one of the best musical acts for a scorching day.
I've listened to loads of REGGAE during our current heatwave -- we've had temperatures above 85 for five consecutive days with highs in the 90s the past two days, allied with high humidity levels -- Jamaicans seem to make music with the perfect vibe for summer weather. Must be an island thing.
Pablo (1954-99) was an instrumentalist and producer who was among the vanguard of musicians ushering in DUB, the musical style in which existing songs are manipulated in the studio to emphasize drums and bass and introduce the atmospheric effects of echo, delay and reverb.
Born Horace Swaby, Pablo also brought the melodica to the forefront of Jamaican music. He was a virtuoso on the instrument that is also known as a "key flute." I've got a towering trio of Pablo albums that I routinely play when the temperatures rise -- "KING TUBBY MEETS ROCKERS UPTOWN," "EAST OF THE RIVER NILE" and "ORIGINAL ROCKERS."
I endorse all three of these fantastic albums to music fans. They are masterful in any weather, but they really seem perfectly suited to sweltering days.


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