After posting Adrian Sherwood meets Harry Beckett last week I wasn’t expecting to post so soon again. Working on another article I sat on the couch tonight with the laptop in front of me and my headphones on noise canceling to fully focus on my writing. When I finished the album that I initially was writing about, I switched to some new music. Blue Lizzard or better known as Clive Hunt was able to put a spell on me and stopped me from finishing the article I was originally working on, demanding my to write this post. Clive Hunt is a multi-instrumentist, producer, song writer and arranger having worked with a host of artists such as Burning Spear, Dennis Brown and Jah 9 but also made a name outside the Reggae scene working with the likes of Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder and Betty Wright. He started playing trumpet in school before joining the army and take part in the army band. Not really cut out for the army, he tried to escape hiding out at various studio’s doing his favorite thing, making music. Working on countless studio sessions he slowly moved into production, arranging for others and even playing for the Jamaican Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.
Clive Hunt already released an album bearing the title Satta I under the moniker Lizzard. This hard to find highly experimental album has Clive on vocals which he would refrain from doing ever again. Let’s say it is an album for the fans. If you are interested to find out how Clive got the name Lizzard, you can read the interview which UnitedReggae.com had with him in 2017. He took his time before releasing the follow-up album, 44 years to be exact, as the new album is released just 9 days ago. Clive brought together a stellar band for this album working with Dean “Cannon” Fraser, the late Bobby Ellis and Nambo Robinson, Robbie Lyn, Bubbler Waul, Wayne Armond and drummers Kirk Bennett and Squidley Cole. This album must be in the making for some time since Nambo Robinson passed away in 2017 and Bobby Ellis in 2016. In some way this album pays tribute to these legendary players. The preparation time leading up the album was well worth it because every song is well structured and the instruments well defined so the listener can pick up on the smallest details. Mostly consisting of fresh material, there are some reworks to be found as Clive revisits some classics. You have to listen closely to trace the adaptations back to their originals as Clive restructures them into something totally new. Listen for instance to “Ivan The Terrible” which is an adapation of “Don’t Want To Be No General” by Dennis Brown. The mood ranges from heavy and imminent on the opening track “Black Is Blue Mountain’s Peak” to sweet and gentle on “Temple Of Selassie” and optimistic on “Rocks In The Rain”. A modern touch is added by the way Clive utilizes the full extend of modern studio equipment working in different styles to give each track an own identity. With the release of Blue Lizzard, Clive did not only add a little color to his name but releases an impressive set of new material. Highly recommended!
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