The nice folks in the tuna médica de Lisboa invited me last Thursday to join the band, an offer I unfortunately had to refuse, but not before they let me play around with their double bass, and it was such an experience! I couldn’t imagine they were so fun to play, now I’m looking to see these guys again tomorrow night.
There’s a really cool independent label out there called Secret Stash Records which fills a market gap by finding and supplying high-quality musical projects unreleased or supposedly lost, experiments by important producers, and recording music in musically underexplored countries, such as Peru, which is how I came to know of them.
In the spring of 1981 a group of reggae studio musicians from Jamaica gathered in New York City under the direction of Jeremy Taylor, a music professor at NYU at that time. The result was this Reggae Interpretation of Kind of Blue.
Though he was primarily regarded as a world-class Jazz musician and educator, Taylor had taken several trips to Jamaica to study reggae music with some of the best performers in the world. In his 1979 book, A Space Between Taylor wrote, My first trip to Jamaica (May 1977) was the most eye-opening musical experience of my life. I met so many incredible players who had been brushed off by the snobby musical establishment at institutions such as the ones I was affiliated with. They showed more musicality, taste, and rhythmic comprehension than some of the most revered musicians in the states. I knew that I had to find a way to showcase their unparalleled talent in a different medium in order for some of my colleagues to fully understand and learn from it. This statement served as the basic concept behind this album. Taylor took the most loved, well-known modern jazz album of all time and put it in the hands of reggae musicians. It was in this context that he felt his contemporaries would be able to fully understand what it was he saw in these players.
Unfortunately, weeks after directing the sessions Taylor passed away in his Paris hotel room while on a speaking tour of Europe. A final mix of the album was never made and it was never released. Collectors have long spoken of this album and in the late 80s lo-fi cassette tapes of rough mixes circulated. No official release was ever issued until now.
In early 2009, Secret Stash Records began working with the Taylor estate to finally release this album. After creating final mixes, dub versions of all the songs were also made by Secret Stash producers. Now for the first time ever, this highly sought-after album is available. This vinyl-only release is a must have for any record collector.