Noel Ellis Noel Ellis (Reissue)
Published Mar 30, 2016Noel Ellis is the son of singer/songwriter Alton "Godfather of Rocksteady" Ellis, and although born in Jamaica, Ellis largely grew up in Toronto. His self-titled debut, and only album, was recorded in Malton, Ontario in 1979 by Jerry Brown in his basement studio for his humble enterprise, Summer Records.
Recorded at a time when reggae was at a peak in terms of international interest and generally becoming overproduced, Ellis' six-track album strikes a balance of basic, raw groove with the loose, nuanced musicianship of a group that included Jackie Mittoo, Willie Williams, Tony Hibbert and Bongo Gene. The recordings were dubbed out by Brown and topped by Ellis's passionate yet casual vocal delivery. The album as a whole can be characterized as roots dub, but the track "Rocking Universally" has a proto-dancehall vibe accentuated by synthetic rhythm, spacey synth sounds and cheeky samples.
When the album was finally released in 1983, it was a commercial failure, but this reissue brings back a true masterpiece that might otherwise have been forgotten by time. (Light In The Attic)