Various Studio One Scorcher 2

With at least a couple dozen Studio One anthologies on the market, it must be tough for Soul Jazz to figure out who to profile for the liner notes. So many aspects of the Studio One catalogue have been comped by the venerable UK re-issuer, yet they’ve maintained their high standards with nearly every release. The first Scorcher dropped a few years ago. It focused on particularly burning instrumentals often in obscure versions prized by collectors. This collection is a worthy follow-up, and turns out to be one of Soul Jazz’s best Studio One comps in a while. The hot blast of the Skatalites’ "Dick Tracy” starts things off, and is quickly followed by the Soul Vendors’ "Frozen Soul,” best known for its dub version on Augustus Pablo’s eternal King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown. Keyboardist Jackie Mittoo is always a highlight of any collection, and the atmospheric "After Christmas” is just the ticket for the post-holiday space out. And the liner notes? Profiles of hornsman Cedric "Im” Brooks, important Rasta drummer Count Ossie and the eccentric Sugar Belly, who brought his folkloric mento styles on hand carved bamboo sax to the dub age with a version of the Caribbean folk tune "Cousin Joe.” A fine and varied collection. (Soul Jazz)