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Tribute to Dennis Brown hails peerless reggae singer

Published:Monday | July 4, 2016 | 8:58 AM
Dennis Brown
File Mykal Rose

CD Title: Various artistes, We Remember Dennis Brown (VP Records)

'We Remember Dennis Brown is a much-deserved tribute to one of reggae's top crooners, a vocal marvel whose music was widely acclaimed in Jamaica and Britain and merits even broader attention worldwide.

Brown, who died at age 42 in 1999, launched his career - not yet a teenager - and quickly flourished into one of the most influential singers and songwriters of the genre.

The 30-track, two-CD set, dedicates one disc to Brown's political and devotional songs such as Words of Wisdom, Promised Land, and Wolves and Leopards. Disc two covers Brown's romantic side, with tracks like Money In My Pocket, one of his signature tunes; Love Has Found Its Way; and If I Had the World.

Among the many highlights are R&B singer Marsha Ambrosius' take on Have You Ever; lover's rock maestro Gyptian's How Could I; Hawaiian band The Green's inspiring Promised Land; and former Black Uhuru front man Michael 'Mykal' Rose's tongue-tripping Easy Take It Easy.

As often happens with reggae artistes, Brown's discography is so extensive - dozens of albums and hundreds of singles on numerous labels, as well as countless compilations and reissues - that it can be difficult to know where to start.

We Remember Dennis Brown is a primer with clear, distinct versions of some of the most enduring songs from the man Bob Marley dubbed the 'Crown Prince of Reggae'. If anyone, the King should know.

- AP