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SLY & ROBBIE ADD LATIN FLAVOR!

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor — Auto & Entertainment

AMERICAN band Ozomatli has added a reggae flavor to their Latin project entitled Nonstop Mexico to Jamaica. To accomplish this, the Los Angeles-based, six-member outfit sought the expertise of prolific “Rhythm Twins” Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. The duo are credited as producers of the set.

“Once they (Ozomatli) explained what they wanted, we just did it. We heard the melodies of the songs and played what we thought would suit tracks, then sent it back to them,” veteran drummer Dunbar told Jamaica Observer yesterday. “I don’t think it took us an entire day.”

The Grammy-winning duo of Dunbar and bassist Shakespeare have been making music since the 1970s. They have produced, and played on songs by Peter Tosh, Black Uhuru, Dennis Brown, Grace Jones, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and No Doubt.

This is not the first time the “Twins” have gone down the Latin route. In 1999, they fused dancehall and Latin music sounds on a 16-track set titled La Trenggae. The set produced hits including Foundation by Beenie Man, Quando Quando (Ambelique), and Many Many (Scare Dem Crew).

Sly and Robbie copped the Best Reggae Album Grammy in 1999 with Friends.

According Ozomatli, their set is “a collection of re-imagined versions of tracks”.

“We thought it would be a good idea to choose songs from the Mexican song book, old and new, and recording them in reggae style. That’s what got the wheels turning but what got it to the next level was when Sly & Robbie got on board,” said Ulises Bella, band member, in an article in Billboard magazine.

Nonstop Mexico to Jamaica comprises reworked classics including Bésame Mucho, Noa Noa, and Tragos Amargos. It features Latin stars Juanes, Régulo Caro and Gaby Moreno.

Formed in 1995, Ozomatli is known for Latin, hip hop, and rock music.

 

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