Sparrow vs. The Rest
1976 Dynamic (DYLP 3001)
A1 How You Jammin’ So 4:50
A2 Music & Rhythm 4:00
A3 Saltfish 3:05
A4 Witch Doctor 4:15
A5 My Woman 3:10
B1 Fatman 4:10
B2 The Statue 4:45
B3 Pan Jam Fete 4:25
B4 We Kinda Music 4:05
Produced by Slinger Francisco
Arranged By – U. Belfast & Slinger Francisco
Backing Band – The Troubadours
Photography – Aston Chin, Howard Moo Young
Recording engiener – N. Case
Remixed by B.Lee
Mastered by G. Goodhall
Album design – Moo Young / Butler Associates Ltd.
Recorded at Dynamic Sounds Studios, 15 Bell Road, Kingston 11
to C. Wear and J. Francique, special thanks from The Dragonaires
Manufactures by Creole Records, London
Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; Click Repair; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 – dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced (for 16-bit). Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
Well it is too late for Notting Hill Carnival but not too late to still enjoy some calypso!
Sparrow aka Mighty Sparrow aka Slinger Francisco (with a real name like Slinger Francsico, why do you even need a stage name??) has been one of the kings of calypso music for half a century. Although he is known for political songs too (see Capitalism Gone Mad for a great example) he is probably most famous for ribald, raunchy double entendre songs like Big Bamboo (which I’m not entirely sure if he wrote, but he definitely made famous). This album has no political songs but a few choice cuts from the latter category, like Salt Fish and Fat Man. Some songs just celebrate the power of good music (Music And Rhythm) and one celebrates the Afro-Caribbean folk religion of Obeah, albeit it tongue and cheek, the wickedly glorious “Witchdoctor.” This record is also probably one of his last 1970s records of straight calypso music as he transitioned into also singing the popular Soca style, at which he is also fantastic. His band The Dragonairres are in top form and the horn arrangements are especially great.
This album has been at the front of the stacks for a long time before I finally got around to this blog post – here’s hoping that I manage to post a couple more Sparrow albums sooner rather than later. In fact this particular LP was a gift from the lovely Bertha Xique-Xique, to whom I owe much inspiration. Have you noticed that this is also one of the most bad-ass album covers ever?