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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » “GRAMMY AWARD NOT ON MY MIND WHEN MAKING MUSIC” SAYS SLY DUNBAR!

“GRAMMY AWARD NOT ON MY MIND WHEN MAKING MUSIC” SAYS SLY DUNBAR!

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL—

HE has been making hit songs for over 40 years, but drummer Sly Dunbar says topping the charts is rarely on his mind when he steps into a recording studio.

That was the case when he along with the Jam Masters, and longtime music partner Robbie Shakespeare recorded New Legend — Jamaica 50th Edition which has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category.

Sly (left) and Robbie recorded the Grammy-nominated New Legend — Jamaica 50th Edition with guitarist Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith and keyboardist Robbie Lyn, and Japanese Kaz Hosanama.

“Robbie sey, ‘mek wi jus’ lick some instrumental’ an’ that was it. We weren’t even thinking about any Grammy thing,” Dunbar told the Sunday Observer.

New Legend was done with guitarist Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith and keyboardist Robbie Lyn, contemporaries of the ‘Riddim Twins’. Kaz Hosanama, a Japanese restaurateur who lives in Kingston, was also involved in the project.

It is the seventh nomination in the category for Sly and Robbie, who won the 2000 Grammy with Friends. They also produced Black Uhuru’s Anthem, winner of the first Best Reggae Album Grammy in 1985.

Fifty-three albums formed a provisional list for the Best Reggae Album category, most of them by dancehall acts like Vybz Kartel, Konshens and Busy Signal. Yet only Sean Paul’s Tomahawk Technique made the final five.

Dunbar, who has openly embraced dancehall music, says he is in the dark in terms of Grammy selection. He believes the genre produced some good music in 2012 but many lacked a critical ingredient.

“There are great beats but we have to find songs with lines that mean something to people. Something like I Got To Go Back Home,” he said.

Not much has been heard on Jamaican radio about New Legend — Jamaica 50th Edition which was recorded early this year at Anchor studios in Kingston. It has been released digitally and on compact disc in Japan.

The 2013 Best Reggae Album category is completed by Jimmy Cliff’s Rebirth, Miracle by the Original Wailers, Sean Paul’s Tomahawk Technique and Reggae Got Soul: Unplugged on Strawberry Hill by Toots and The Maytals.

The 55th Grammy Awards is scheduled for February 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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