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Like fellow Chicagoan Mars Williams, Ted Sirota does not limit himself solely to jazz. The saxophonist Williams fronts the hip-hop funk freestyle band Liquid Soul and Sirota has assembled this Jamaican music band. Reggae music, the drummer's first love, has been incorporated into his longstanding jazz outfit Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls. With Heavyweight Dub he dives headlong into unexpurgated Jamaican music.
Those familiar with Sirota's work in Sabertooth, who released Dr. Midnight (Delmark, 2007) and their longstanding gig at The Green Mill, might find this music foreign. But listeners to his Rebel Souls records, Breeding Resistance (Delmark, 2004) and three prior Naim releases, will find the ingredients that inspired this dub Record.
He enlisted dub master Hopeton Overton Brown, AKA "The Scientist," an originator of Jamaican dub, to record this session. While it is not purely a 'dub' record, because it is an original recording (not a remix), the dub influence is apparent in the sounds of the drums and bass. Fans of the echo and reverb of dub won't be disappointed. Sirota delivers a roots-steady pulse throughout. His inclusion of vocals and a hip-hop verse keeps things interesting throughout.
Ever the cultural commentator, Sirota takes on Fourth Amendment issues with "Stop And Frisk (The New Jim Crow)" featuring Paul Mabin's vocals expounding on the 21st-century police tactic for rousting inner city residents. "Geronimo's Free" extends a ska riff with echoing horn blasts and a danceable beat. Sirota unleashes his party band here with an infectious and mighty sound. Rapper Diverse summons dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, aka LKJ with his rap on "Saro- Wiwa." "The Struggle" continues with Sirota's passion for social justice through music, singing "Don't give up the struggle, unite." Indeed.
Track Listing: Scientific Strut; House On The Rock; Jackie-Me-Too!; Stop And Frisk
(The New Jim Crow); Killa Dilla; This Is A Takeover; Saro-Wiwa; Yanira;
Give A Little Love; Tubby; The Struggle; Geronimo’s Free; Baltimore;
Personnel: Ted Sirota: drums; Matt Ferguson: bass; Chris Paqutte: percussion;
Dave Miller: guitar; Andrew Trim: guitar; Mike Dangeroux: guitar (4,
8, 11); Tom Vaitsas-keyboards: organ; Cameron Pfiffner-: tenor
saxophone; Matthew Davis: trombone; Marquis Hill: trumpet; Yanira
Marin: vocals (2); Paul Mabin: vocals & vocal background arrangements
(4, 8, 11); Chaka B-: vocals (8); Diverse-: vocals (7).
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.