Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Augustus Pablo legitimized the melodica in a natural way and gave new life to dub instrumentals. Born Horace Swaby, he learned to play the organ while a student at the Kingston College School. He acquired a melodica from "a little sistren" and began playing the instrument incessantly. The blow-organ instrument had not been taken seriously at this point and was primarily used in school music classes.
Herman Chin Loy, owner of the Aquarius record shop, heard him playing the instrument and booked him in a studio the next day. He cut his first single "Iggy Iggy" as well as an instrumental track that would eventually become the title track for 'East of the River Nile'. In the meantime, he recorded four albums (This Is...Augustus Pablo and Ital Dub in 1974, Thriller in 1975, and King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown in 1976) and set up his own Rockers record label.
'East of the River Nile' was recorded at Harry J's, Channel One, King Tubby's, and Black Ark in Kingston. Pablo produced the sessions and played organ, piano, strings, keyboards, clavinet, and melodica; with Aston "Family Man" Barrett, Clayton Downie, Robert "Robbie" Shakespeare, and Earl "Bagga" Walker trading off on bass; Carlton "Carlie" Barrett, Noel "Alphonso" Benbow, and Max Edwards sitting in on drums; Earl "Chinna" Smith on guitar; Everton DaSilva on percussions; and the Ja-Malla Band playing on "Chant to King Selassie I" and "Natural Way". The Upsetters played on "Upfull Living", "Unfinished Melody", and "Memories of the Ghetto". King Tubby and Lee Perry did the mixing.
East of the River Nile
'East of the River Nile'
00:00 - 1 - Chant To King Selassie I
03:42 - 2 - Natural Way
11:08 - 3 - Nature Dub
15:00 - 4 - Upfull Living
19:58 - 5 - Unfinished Melody
22:32 - 6 - Jah Light
24:48 - 7 - Memories Of The Ghetto
28:10 - 8 - Africa (1983)
31:13 - 9 - East Of The River Nile
34:06 - 10 - Sounds Form Levi
38:06 - 11 - Chapter 2
42:23 - 12 - Addis-A-Baba
46:08 - 13 - East Africa
48:56 - 14 - East of the River Nile (original)
51:54 - 15 - Memories of the Ghetto Dub
55:28 - 16 - Jah Light Version
58:00 - 17 - Islington Rock
1:00:00 - 18 - Meditation Dub