Reggae Sumfest 2018

YAHBA's debut album is 'Jus' Wicked'

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yahba-jus-wicked.jpgThe year 2015 marks 40 years since legendary keyboard king, Jackie Mittoo wrote and recorded the single Everyday Sunshine, the lead track from the Tony Stines-produced album, Jus Wicked, and truth be told, this song sounds as fresh as any recorded in this millennium.

The debut album from the band YAHBA, it features an array of musical legends including Jackie Mittoo and Robbie Lyn on keyboards; Dean Frazer and Everton Gayle on saxophone; David Madden on trumpet; Boris Gardiner, Brian Atkinson, Spred Bedassie and Danny Axeman on bass; Calvin 'Bubbles' Cameron on trombone; Mikey Chung on guitar; Joe Isaacs and Derrick Stewart on drums; Uziah ' Sticky' Thompson on percussion and Stephen Stewart on congo drums. Orville 'Bagga Case' formerly of HomeT is the lead vocal on 10 of the 13 songs; with Anne Marie, and Willi Williams contributing one each, while Pam Hall does backing vocals on 11 tracks.

Just Wicked, which contains all original songs, has been appropriately dubbed 'reggae soul'. It includes a variety of tunes, all played by musicians, that give the listener a little ska, a little easy listening, a little Jazz and even dub-wise.

According to Tony Stines, producer and writer of 12 of the 13 tracks - he shares writing credit with Jackie Mittoo on Everyday Sunshine - he chose the word yabba because of the symbolism associated with it in the Jamaican culture, which also uses the term "just wicked!" as a spirited endorsement of excellence.

"The yabba is a highly treasured, all-purpose, domestic utensil made from clay that was found in every Jamaican kitchen. It is traditionally from Africa and is used for everything from mixing to grinding to cooking and also eating purposes. The yabba is associated with great memories and excellent cuisine. This album is intended to evoke such memories and exude that overall feeling of warmth even as it shines with musical brilliance," explained Mr. Stines, who has been in the business for over half a century.

The CEO and 'music master' behind YAHBA added that he exercised poetic licence and changed the spelling of yabba to 'yahba', "but the concept is the same." He noted that the first track, Everyday Sunshine, was recorded at the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) Studios in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with musicians Jackie Mittoo (keyboards and arranger), Brian Atkinson (bass), Wayne McGhie (guitar), Joe Isaacs (drums), Rick Wilkins (strings), Guido Basso (horns), Diane Brooks and friends (background vocals) and Tony Eden (lead vocals).

The recording was reconfigured and remixed at Harry J. Studios, St Andrew, Jamaica, in 2012, to create a sweeter mix of lovers' reggae with Bagga Case's warm baritone and Mikey Chung's exhilarating rhythm guitar, while the other tracks were recorded at Harry J Studio, Fab 5 Studio and Mixing Lab in Kingston.

The 13-track album includes love songs, a wedding song and more for the music palate. The only two females in the mix, Pam Hall and Anne Marie typify the excellence associated with YAHBA. Pam's background vocals make for a great blend with lead singer Orville 'Bagga' Case on most of the tracks. The talent that was brought together for the album is second to none, including the noted creativity of engineer Stephen Stewart.

The 'Jus Wicked' album is for music lovers who enjoy relaxing to groovy melodies. It highlights the talent and energy of Jamaicans who made the reggae music industry great, giving it the right accent it needs right now.

YAHBA Jus' Wicked is available on the Internet through CD Baby.

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Reggae Sumfest 2018