This Just In: Rocksteady!

To celebrate Sam Cooke’s birthday on Jan 22nd, the street performing act I’m a part of (Mr. E & MLE), played a little set outside where The Harlem Square Club stood in Overtown. Now you already know about that infamous Cooke gig and album, One Night Stand, since you follow this blog and read that post a few weeks ago, so here’s an anecdote from our gig that ties into today’s featured release. While we were setting up to play, a man stopped to ask what we were doing. Mr. E told him we were gonna pay homage to Sam Cooke and sing some soul music. The man replied “I only want to hear reggae.” “Well,” Mr. E replied, “a lot of reggae is heavily influenced by American soul music.” The man was intrigued as Mr. E rattled off names of reggae artists like the musical dictionary he is. And it’s true – reggae and soul are inextricably tied, both stylistically, and both as sociopolitical commentary on the times and places they originated in. Today, Soul Jazz Records’ second volume of influential Rocksteady tunes drops, and much like the American soul music of the 60’s, the songs’ messages are relevant now more than ever. -MLE

Various – Studio One Rocksteady Vol. 2 2LP
Listen: Various clips
“Soul Jazz Records’ new journey into the mighty vaults of Clement Dodd’s Studio One steps once more into the fertile musical environment of Jamaican music in the late 1960s and early 1970s, from the sweet harmony vocals of seminal 1960s Rocksteady right up to the nascent birth of Reggae and Roots music at the start of the 1970s.

Sleevenotes to this album are by Steve Barrow, author of ‘Rough Guide to Reggae’ as well as Soul Jazz Records’ own ‘Reggae Soundsystem Cover Art’ books.

While Ska at the start of the 1960s had taken American rhythm and blues as its main influence, Rocksteady focused on the emergence of American Soul music – with Jamaican vocal harmony groups such as The Gaylads, John Holt & The Paragons, Carlton & The Shoes showing a particular fascination with the close harmonies of Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions and other US soul acts. Here The Heptones even feature with a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’.

The influence of Soul music on Jamaican rock steady and reggae is almost palpable, so much so that one wonders how much more successful singers like Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis, Slim Smith and John Holt would have been had they been born in Chicago, Detroit or Memphis

Artists such as Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson and Owen Gray defined the era – a slowed down beat as Jamaican political and social heat slowly increased as the 1960s progressed into the start of the 1970s –  and the music evolved further from rock steady into roots reggae.

Wicked tunes!” -Soul Jazz


Body and soul – new releases, reissues & restocks…
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders LP, The Low End Theory 2LP, We Got It From Here Thank You 4 Your Service 2LP
A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Iris LP
Abel Korzeniowski – Penny Dreadful OST LP*
Adele – 19 LP, 21 LP, 25 LP
Afghan Whigs – Gentlemen: At 21 LP
AFI – The Blood Album LP*
Afro-Haitian Experimental Orchestra – S/T LP
Air – Moon Safari LP
Al Green – Greatest Hits LP
Alice Coltrane – Universal Consciousness LP
Alicia Keys – Here LP
Alkaline Trio – Crimson LP*, From Her To Infirmary LP*, Good Mourning 2LP*
Animal Collective – Here Comes The Indian LP, Merriweather Post Pavilion 2LP, Strawberry Jam LP
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92 2LP, Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 2LP
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs 2LP
Archie Shepp – Archie Shepp Quartet/Bill Dixon Quartet LP*
Atlas Sound – Let The Blind… 2LP
Auroch – Mute Books LP
BBQ Mark Sultan – S/T LP*
Beach House – Bloom 2LP, Depression Cherry LP
Beirut – Gulag Orkestar LP, The Flying Cup Club LP
Billie Holiday – The Essential Rare Collection LP
Black Sabbath – Master Of Reality LP, S/T LP, Soup LP
Blink 182 – Cheshire Cat LP
Blue Orchids – Awefull LP*, The Once And Future Thing LP*
Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore – Black Earth 2LP, Geisterfaust 2LP
Bonobo – Black Sands Remixed 3LP, LateNightTales 2LP, Migration (Deluxe) 2LP, North Borders 2LP
Bowery Electric – Beat 2LP
Brian Eno – Reflection 2LP
Brigitte Bardot Et Serge Gainsbourg – Bonnie And Clyde LP
Buena Vista Social Club – At Carnegie Hall 2LP, S/T 2LP
Burial – Kindred 12″
Burt Jansch – Jack Orion LP*
Cate Le Bon – Rock Pool LP*
Cavern of Anti-Matter – Blood Drums 2LP*
Charles Mingus – The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady LP
Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound LP*
Coldplay – A Rush Of Blood To The Head LP
D. Edwards – Hangin’ At The Beach 2LP*
D.O.A. – Fucked Up Donald 7”*, Murder LP
David Bowie – Space Oddity LP
Dawn – Infrared LP*
Deantoni Parks – Technoself LP
Death – For The Whole World To See LP
Death Cab For Cutie – Transatlanticism 2LP
DJ Paul Nice – Drum Library Vol. 14 LP*
Elliott Smith – Either/Or LP
Emptyset – Borders LP*
Etta James – Rocks The House LP
Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear 2LP
Fear – Record LP
Flaming Lips – Yoshimi LP
Flower Travelin’ Band – Satori LP
Flying Lotus – Reset EP 12”
Fugazi – A Steady Diet Of Nothing LP, First Demo LP, Margin Walker EP 12”
Funkadelic – S/T LP
Gabriel Garzon-Montano – Jardin LP*
Galaxie 500 – This Is Our Music LP
Genius/GZA – Liquid Swords 2LP
Glass Candy – Beatbox LP
Gold Panda – Good Luck And Do Your Best LP
Grateful Dead – American Beauty LP
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction LP
Homeboy Sandman – Actual Factual Pterodactyl 2LP*
Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days LP, Shepherd’s Dog LP, The Creek Drank The Cradle LP
J Dilla – Ruff Draft Beats LP
Jack White – Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 LP
Jawbreaker – 24 Hour Revenge Therapy LP
Jay Daniel – Broken Knowz 2LP
Jaylib – Champion Sound 2LP
Jello Biafra & The Melvins – Sieg Howdy! LP
Jessy Lanza – Oh No LP, Pull My Hair Back LP
Jesu – Conqueror 2LP
Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced? LP, Axis: Bold As Love LP, Electric Ladyland 2LP
Johnny Cash – All Aboard The Blue Train LP
John Zorn – Naked City LP
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures LP
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly 2LP
Kid Cudi – Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ CD
Kreator – Gods Of Violence 2LP*
Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy LP, S/T LP
Leonard Cohen – Songs Of Love And Hate LP, You Want It Darker LP
Lilys – In The Presence Of Nothing 2LP*
Loscil – Monument Builders LP
Los Hacheros – Pilon LP
Lou Reed – American Poet 2LP*, Transformer LP
Luna – Rendezvous LP*, Romantica LP*
Lydia Lunch – Honeymoon In Red LP*
Madlib – Pill Jar LP
Madvillain – Madvillainy 2LP
Makaveli – The Don Killuminati 2LP
Mark Feehan – MF II LP*
Matthew Dear – Matthew Dear 2LP
Mazzy Star – Among My Swan LP
MC5 – Kick Out The Jams LP
Melt-Banana – Fetch LP
Melvins – Ozma + Bullhead 2LP
Menace Beach – Lemon Memory LP*
MF Doom – Operation Doomsday (Remastered) 2LP
Michael Jackson – Thriller LP
Mike & Rich – Expert Knob Twiddlers 3LP
Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue LP
Minor Threat – First Two 7’s 12“, Out Of Step LP, Salad Days 7”
Mudhoney – Every Good Boy… LP, Superfuzz Bigmuff LP
Napalm Death – Apex Predator-Easy Meat LP
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Firstborn Is Dead LP
Nina Simone – At Town Hall LP
Nirvana – Bleach LP
Nomadic Warriors – S/T LP*
Nots – Cosmetic LP
NxWorries – Yes Lawd! 2LP
Oh No – Ultimate Breaks & Beats LP
Om – God Is Good LP, Variations On A Theme LP
Once & Future Band – S/T LP*
Ornette Coleman – To Whom Who Keeps A Record LP
Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below 4LP
Panda Bear – Young Prayer LP
Patrick Cowley & Candida Royalle – Candida Cosmica EP 12”
Patrick Cowley – School Daze 2LP
Piano Magic – Closure LP*
Pink Floyd – The Wall 2LP
Quarta 330 – Pixelated 12” EP*
Quasimoto – Further Instrumentals 2LP, Unseen 2LP, Yessir Whatever LP+7″
Queen – A Day At The Races LP
Raised By Seuss – Unless: Twenty Years Too Late LP*
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication 2LP
Run The Jewels – RTJ3 2LP
RVIVR – S/T LP
Serge Gainsbourg – Histoire De Melody Nelson LP
Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty 2LP
Shins – Oh, Inverted World LP, Wincing The Night Away LP
Sleater-Kinney – Dig Me Out LP, Live In Paris CD*, CS*, LP*, No Cities To Love LP, One Beat LP, The Hot Rock LP
Sleep – Dopesmoker 2LP, Volume 1 LP
Sonic Youth – Goo LP, Anagrama LP, Evol LP
Soul Jazz Presents – Betty Harris 2LP
Spiritualized – Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space 2LP
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Texas Flood LP
Subterrain – S/T LP*
Suicidal Tendencies – S/T LP
Suicide – S/T LP
Sum 41 – All Killer No Filler LP*
Taake – Noregs Vaapen 2LP*
Tad – God’s Balls LP
Talib Kweli – Fuck The Money 2LP, Train Of Thought: Lost Lyrics, Rare Releases… LP
The Bill Dixon Orchestra – Intents And Purposes LP*
The Budos Band – The Budos Band I LP, The Budos Band II LP
Thee Oh Sees – A Weird Exits 2LP, An Odd Entrances LP, Carrion Crawler LP, Floating Coffin LP
The Herbaliser – Remedies 2LP*
The Killers – Hot Fuss LP
The Replacements – Let It Be LP
The Roots – Things Fall Apart 2LP
Tift Merritt – Stitch Of The World LP*
Tim Hecker – Virgins 2LP
Tobin Sprout – The Universe LP*
Tool – Lateralus 2LP
Torben Unit – S/T 2LP*
Tortoise – Beacons Of Ancestorship LP
Ty Segall – S/T CD, CS, LP, Melted LP
Van Morrison – Astral Weeks LP
Various – Afro Peruvian Classics: The Soul Of Black Peru LP
Various – Brazil Classics 1: Beleza Tropical LP
Various – International Breaks 404 LP
Various – La La Land OST LP*
Various – NOLA Bounce Breaks Vol. 2 LP*
Various – Palenque Records AfroColombia Remix LP
Various – Studio One Ska 2LP
Vaselines – Enter The Vaselines 3LP
Violent Femmes – S/T LP
Washed Out – Within And Without LP
Wastelands – S/T LP
William Onyeabor – Anything You Sow LP, Body & Soul LP,Who Is William Onyeabor? 3LP
Will Sessions & Amp Fiddler – Lost Without You b/w Seven Mile 7”*

*Indicates new release or new reissue