There is much to be said for taking time to get things right and this seems to be the philosophy of Jashwha Moses who, from his initial single release in the late 1970s (with production from Dennis Bovell), took more than thirty-five years to create his first original album, ‘No War on Earth’, released in 2013. This new album, ‘The Rising’, follows at relatively breakneck speed two years later. Backed up by the sounds of the Full Force and Power band and the production skills of collaborator MIKEY, who has sadly passed away prior to the album’s release, The Rising’ is new roots reggae largely in the manner of the vintage reggae masters. It opens with ‘What a Situation’, relaxed reggae music that could have come from the Lee Perry era but is delivered in fresh upbeat style here. ‘Crazy (Version)’ and ‘Nothing to Lose’ feature falsetto Junior Murvin-esque vocals from Jashwha, while the rhythm/drums of ‘Rise Up’ lean more toward dancehall/ragga in musical style if not in lyrics. ‘Do Not Weep (a Meditation)’ is a slow and thoughtful soul song with a Marley-ish riff in the backing. ‘I Believe’ is simple and effective reggae, untroubled by unnecessary adornment either in its instrumentation or its production. The nine tracks of the vinyl release are supplemented by three more songs on the CD and digital versions, providing a taste of Jashwha Moses live. The sound of Jamaica, shaped by Bristol’s cosmopolitan musical culture: this is accomplished contemporary roots reggae at its best.
Jashwha Moses ‘The Rising’ released on vinyl (9 tracks) and CD/DDL (12 tracks), Sugar Shack Records, 22nd June 2015.