Jamaica to Toronto: Soul Funk and Reggae 1967 to 1974
Offerings such as Jamaica to Toronto: Soul Funk and Reggae 1967 to 1974 provide evidence of some of the good that's come Canada's way from the island of Jamaica. It ain't just guns and gangsters, despite what news media repeats over and over. A wave of artists came up to Canada's biggest city and laid down orchestrated, rich and melodic music. This compilation leans to the soul funk more than reggae and the latter comes more as signatures or flourishes. You remember Jo-Jo and the Fugitives for the horn-peppered "Chips, Chicken and Banana Split" than the wailing album opener "Fugitive Song." Other standout tracks come from organist/arranger Jackie Mittoo ("Grand Funk") and any of the three tracks by the Cougars. Some sweet, sweet music for summer.