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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

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Ranking Joe
World In Trouble            
M MREC

By Judson Kilpatrick

Published September 23, 2005

This veteran rub-a-dub DJ is famous for his fast-paced, “bionic” style, full of a variety of vocal interjections. Joseph Jackson began his career as a protégé of U-Roy, first recording for Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One label under the name Little Joe. He went on to record for most of the other great reggae producers and eventually became a mentor to a new generation of DJs like Charlie Chaplin and Josey Wales. Ranking Joe’s live shows are legendary, and he still performs around the world. It is a treat to hear him produced by the dub specialist Ryan Moore (who recruits some big-name musicians), but unfortunately you don’t get to hear a whole lot of Joe here. Only 45 minutes long, this CD makes room for the mostly instrumental “Wake The Nation,” plus a non-vocal version of “Don’t Try To Use Me,” a remix of the title track and a dub of Joe’s duet with Michael Rose, “Don’t Follow Babylon.” However, the latter two tracks do show off Joe’s incredible mic prowess even better than the originals.

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