RIP Robbie Shakespeare

Once again reggae loses one of its finest with the passing of Robbie Shakespeare, following surgery in the United States. As a bass player he was best known as collaborator with drummer Sly Dunbar to form one of the finest rhythm sections in reggae music. He was also an accomplished producer. He played with leading names including Dennis Brown and Black Uhuru and contributed bass to countless other albums including the vastly underrated Sinead O’Connor collection ‘Throw Down Your Arms’ (2005) which he also co-produced with Sly Dunbar. His style was based not so much on technical virtuosity but instead was grounded in power, volume and, above all, an intuitive feel for the music. It certainly worked. He is the only bass player I have ever seen take centre stage to applause at a live reggae concert – and again it worked. Rest in peace.