MANU DIBANGO — Gone Clear (review)

MANU DIBANGO — Gone Clear album cover Album · 1980 · Dub/Ska/Reggae Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Released in 1980, recorded in Jamaica on Chris Blackwell’s label, Island Record’s , with quite a few big names included and not only from Jamaica but the U.S.A as well with the Brecker brothers included with Michael on sax and Randy on trumpet with Joe Faddis, Mike Lawrence supporting and Gwen Guthrie being one of the backing vocalists.. Plenty of big Jamaican names also with Ansell Collins, Sly and Robbie, Mikey Chung with a few others from the area as well for Manu Dibango’s Reggae excursion with the album “Gone Clear” which has also been re released on the French label Sonodisc in 1990 under the name “Rasta Souvenir” on two discs which does include Manu’s following Reggae release on Island “Ambassador” on each disc respectively albeit with a slight track order change the albums are still separate in their entirety on each of the discs.

“Full Up” puts the Reggae beat straight to the fore with Manu’s sax riding right over it all on this great album opener being primarily an instrumental with just the backing vocalists repeating the title on occasion. Funk and fairly quick moving is the basis for the highly enjoyable instrumental “Goro City” with some great sax input from Dibango’s sax being all over it and some wonderful band backing. More full on Reggae beat in “Doctor Bird” where we finally get to hear Manu adding those deep vocals and jive he usually does in French and the delight just keeps coming in another great take on his most famous number the Makossa where this time it’s the “Reggae Makossa” and good it is, being delivered in quick time. “Frozen Soul” is vibe time for Manu with a highly similar time to “Full Up” but no matter it is Reggae and the album finishes up with one of its highlights, for me anyway with it s loopy opening and more of those backing vocals and saxes just keeping a firm reminder of the time this music was made in being the late 70’s and early 80’s with that Manu Dibango stamp.

Lovely groover to have on and even if Reggae is not your thing try this as it only fairly mild with its influence and basically it’s still Dibango presenting his style of Cameroonian French influenced African Music but still I really don’t know too many African music fans that don’t like Reggae anyway.
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