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MEREDITH… a bit too much computers in the music…

LAST year when bass player Chris Meredith decided on a return to music production he wanted his comeback project to reflect the sound that inspired him as a youth — stripped-down roots-reggae.

While listening to a number of 1970s ‘rhythms’, he found one particularly appealing.

“Is a old Bunny Lee beat wid two bass part, an’ wi actually play the second part. When wi start play it, everybody get “excited”, he recalled.

The result of that ‘exciting’ jam is the Positive, a beat driven by songs from a number of old school and emerging roots acts such as Big Youth, Sangie Davis, Linval Thompson, Johnny Clarke, Jah9, Jesse Royal, and Brian Gold.

Chris Meredith

Chris Meredith

Meredith played bass on the track accompanied by veteran musicians Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith (guitar), Robbie Lyn (keyboards), Nambo Robinson (trombone), Jon Williams (violin), and drummer Style Scott.

Released on Smith’s Inna De Yard label, Meredith says the Positive will be marketed in areas where hard-core roots-reggae retains a strong following like Europe and Japan. He hopes it will also strike a chord locally, especially among the youth.

“It good fi dem get fi hear some true roots music; music dat come from the heart,” he said.

The Aggressive marks Meredith’s return to production. In his late 40s, he previously worked with acts like Sugar Minott for his Bust Out label, but producing was limited due to his hectic recording and touring schedule with Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers.

Conscious Party...

Conscious Party…

Meredith played on most of the band’s albums including the Grammy-winning Conscious Party and One Bright Day. He also worked on albums by Mutabaruka (Check It!), Burning Spear (Calling Rastafari) and Lauryn Hill (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill).

Born in London to Jamaican parents, Meredith came to Jamaica as a child. It was while attending Calabar High School that he got into music as a member of Smith’s High Times Players band. His early recording sessions were done at the famed Channel One, where he backed artists including Yellowman, Frankie Paul, and Israel Vibration.

Though he has played for a diverse cast of performers, his love for roots-reggae has never wavered which is evident on the Positive.

“We have a bit too much computers in the music. Nothin ‘gainst dat ’cause yuh have to move wid the times, but at some stage yuh have to get back to the roots,” he said.

–By Howard Campbell

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