Gregory Isaacs Mr. Isaacs

Gregory Isaacs, perhaps the most prolific singer in Jamaican history, gets one of his very best albums reissued and remastered by Blood and Fire. Unlike most Blood and Fire reissues, Mr. Isaacs is no rarity, having been available from Shanachie Records since the early '80s. No matter, it's a great album and the bonus tracks make it extra classic. Recorded in 1978 by Ossie Hibbert, Mr Isaacs was conceived as an album session as opposed to a collection of singles. Isaacs's songwriting is in the political mode, which was later overshadowed by his Cool Ruler persona. The blend of Gregory's great lyrics and melodies, the dub-wise mix and especially Sly Dunbar leading the Revolutionaires all play starring roles. Always front and centre is Gregory's understated, willowy tenor, which invites the listener to pay attention. Of the bonus tracks, "Mr. Brown" and "Mr. Know it All" are seminal rockers tracks, foreshadowing the later work he would do with Sly & Robbie. It's a pleasure to hear new details in the production, thanks to the remastering, and it's always awesome to experience one of the most unique voices in any style of music while at the height of his powers. (Blood and Fire)