Wayne Mcghie And The Sounds Of Joy Wayne Mcghie And The Sounds Of Joy

The reappearance of Wayne McGhie's only album should indeed provoke a sound of joy among soul fans. Here's a guy who hasn't played in about 25 years, and who has suffered a great deal from mental illness in the interim. The Jamaican expat and his music were a prime example of the first flourishing of Toronto's sizable West Indian community within the booming R&B club scene at the time. The liner notes may be the most remarkable aspect of this disc, lovingly detailing just how swinging the scene was in Toronto, which was just a short haul from Detroit in terms of touring. The master tapes and most of the copies of this disc perished in a fire at Quality Records' warehouse. Fortunately rescued, the disc is a simmering stew of covers and originals. The record is defined by three elements: the laid-back-but-on-point drums that evoke the very essence of pure hip-hop, McGhie's implacable vocal style, and the sonorous organ that sounds like it kept going south once it hit Muscle Shoals. Two tracks in particular are breaks for the ages: the Meters-esque "Dirty Funk" — the main reason crate diggers sought out this record in the first place — and a great version of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.” The band really cuts loose on the McGhie original "Cool It" with R&B horns married to a pop-a-top early reggae groove. As an album, this is solid, but as a story, it's inspirational. (Light In The Attic)