I'll be the first to admit I know very little about reggae. So when it comes to recommending something that's good I'm a little hesitant. But I do know when I like something and there have two releases recently which have come across my desk here at the luxurious First Coast News studios that are actually quite good at least to my amateur reggae listening ears.
Eva Be's Moving Without Traveling is most definitely something that even your most die-hard reggae fan would find cool. Moving Without Traveling is more like a soul record that found it's way down to Jamaica then forwarded to New Orleans and then sent back to the Motor City. In other words it's a bluesy soulful record set to a reggae time signature. It's completely lush chilled stuff that has a nice groove throughout whether it's dubby, soulful, or just moving about. Instrumental passages slide into vocal arrangements and the sounds that results are the sounds of the islands being given an American musical tour.
Best Seven Selections 2 is a compilation highlighting tons of artists on Best Seven Records. With 14 different tracks there's a smorgasbord of reggae to choose from. Much like Moving Without Traveling, Best Seven Selections 2 is also very jazzy and soulful reggae that mixes things up pretty well; heck, as if to make a point the first track has what sounds like an accordion in it. Among the highlights here are the aforementioned Dutch Riddim Combo's, "Ride of your Life," and Extended Spirit's, jazzy guitar workout on "Sista Riddim."
Both Moving Without Traveling and Best Seven Selections 2 are great records that even someone who knows very little about reggae can enjoy. The two albums mixing of jazz, blues, and soul into a giant reggae gumbo serve as the perfect introduction and make them stand out as being something more than just a bunch of reggae tunes crammed together.