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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » NEW YORK-BASED PRODUCER PHILLIP THOMAS TO RELEASE NEW SONGS FROM DENNIS BROWN!

NEW YORK-BASED PRODUCER PHILLIP THOMAS TO RELEASE NEW SONGS FROM DENNIS BROWN!

 By Brian Bonitto—

 Top: Dennis Brown—
Bottom: Phillip A Thomas—

NEARLY two decades after Dennis Brown’s death, American producer Phillip A Thomas is releasing what is believed to be the reggae singer’s last recordings.

The three-track EP, Rock On, is produced on Thomas’s New York-based D Phil Productions. It is scheduled to be released on December 18.

“They’re all new songs… and I think his fans will enjoy them. I think it’s the perfect time to release them,” Thomas, 40, told the Jamaica Observer.

According to the producer, the tracks are Baby It’s You, the acoustic Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and the title track. A video for Rock On will be released on Brown’s birthday, February 1.

“I took my time with them (the tracks) and nursed them like a baby…trying to get the right sound as this is my first major project. I used live instruments because I wanted a certain feel,” he said.

That feel was achieved with Steel Pulse’s Sidney Mills on keyboards, Val Douglas of The Skatalites on bass, drummer Anastas Nas T Hackett, Andy Bassford on guitar, and percussionist Larry McDonald.

Thomas said he was a young engineer working at his cousin’s New York studio when the songs were first recorded in 1999.

“They were done a week before he (Brown) passed away in 1999. They were recorded at Frank Nickle’s studio, King Brevel. He did three songs that night. He was passionate and I felt the vibes. Engineers Computer Paul and Bill Sample were also at the session,” Thomas recalled.

Paul "Computer Paul" Henton

Paul “Computer Paul” Henton

“The last thing he (Brown) said to me at the studio was, ‘Fire, yuh goin’ to be big in this music thing one day’, and I’ve always held on to that.”

The producer said five years after Brown’s death, he asked Nickle for the tracks and he obliged.

“I took the tracks and vocals, and remixed them… I took it to a different level as I want to bring some value to his legacy. He was a great man,” said Thomas, a self-described ‘D Brown’ fan.

Born in New York to Jamaica parents, Thomas said he was exposed from an early age to the music of ‘Reggae’s Crown Prince’.

DennisBrown2

Brown had a distinguished music career, recording since age 11. His many hit songs include Wolves and Leopards, Cassandra, Africa, No More Shall I Roam and Westbound Train. He died  July 1, 1999 at age 42.

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