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Composed of some of the most gifted musicians to ever walk the streets of the Jamaican capital,the Kingston All Stars project is a celebration of the heyday of vintage reggae, taking the form of a contemporary music project that pays homage to the glory days of the music’s past. Spearheaded by Canadian producer, engineer & musician Moss Raxlen, who was also the driving force behind the great Rocksteady: The Roots Of Reggae feature documentary, and who produced Lynn Taitt’s last-ever works, the Kingston All Stars revolves around a robust core of legendary session players who have been respectively responsible for the lion’s share of the greatest Jamaican music ever committed to tape.
The album’s guest vocalists are in keeping with this music pedigree, since select numbers are tackled by Cedric Myton of the Congos, his singing sparring partner, RZee Jackson, and the original Greenwich Farm Rastaman, Prince Allah, along with the otherwise unknown Alana Jonsana, an elder dread from the downtown trouble zone brought to the project by Mikey Chung. Everything was captured on tape at Mixing Lab studio in Kingston during the winter & spring of 2016, with further overdubbing and mixing overseen by Moss in Montreal. With a corresponding dub album in the works and a set of prominent live performances to come in different international locations, this album is only the beginning for the Kingston All Stars, whose continued presence speaks to the general longevity of Jamaican popular music. Long may they continue to reign!
Words by David Katz, author of People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae.