People say alot about the leader for this instrumental reggae group, Mark Quan. They say he's snobby, egotistical, even an ass. But one thing's for sure, when it comes to playing high quality organ led reggae music, no one can really touch the Rhythm Doctors.
Early in the year 2000, they released their first album, Reggae Injection. The album is a perfect blend of almost every different style of early reggae around. From the rocking skinhead reggae sounds on tracks like "Musical Doctor", "Marks Mood", "Johnny Cochran" and "Judge Ito" to roots reggae style on "66-40", "Tell Dem Seh" and then even two heavy dub tracks mixed by rhythm guitarist Brian Dixon and the great rocksteady style of lead guitarists "Jesse's Song", which is a favorite of mine on the album.
The group seems to be obviously influenced by the Upsetters. At the beginning of the first song, "Musical Doctor", theres a spoken intro, much like the way Lee Perry would talk over the beginning of the early Upsetters tracks. The connection is made stronger through the tracks "Johnny Cochran" and "Judge Ito". The obsession with the O.J. trial reminds me of The Upsetters certian obsessions, like Westerns and Kung Fu movies.
THe musicianship on the album is all of remarkable quality. the rhythm section is very strong with Kingston 10's Korey Horn playing the drums while Earl Miles lays down the basslines. Brian Dixon from See Spot plays over the rhythm while Mark Quan (organ) and Jesse Wagner (lead guitar) handle all of the leads. Both "Evening Mood" and "66-40" are best at showing off the organ and lead guitar talents throught the song. "Temple of the Dragon" is a kind of dubby song that shows the whole band playing a steady, kind of haunting rhythm together without any real lead instrument but shows the band off and they just seem to groove.
The top picks on this album in my opinion are "Musical Doctor" with its rocking organ and picking of Jesse's guitar. "Jesse's Song" with the nice rocksteady sound. The lead guitar sounds fantastic on this song and it seems to be a favorite of most everyone who listens to the group. Also "Evening Mood" has beautiful organ and piano, though the song does seem to last too long, clocking it at over six minutes. "66-40" is one of my favorites for the guitar and organ combination...actually I could go on and on like this and list every track on the album, so I'll stop.
This album is essential and I really think its one of the best releases these days. Theres also bonus points for Brian Dixons dubs on the "Feels Good" and "Temple of the Dragon" rhythms. Anyone who is a fan of the Upsetters, Jackie Mittoo, Harry J All-Stars and all the other reggae session bands in the last 60s and 70s, should really like this album.
Back To Modern Ska Reviews:
Ive Got To Go Back HOme: