Tribute to Nitty Gritty:
Trials and Crosses
This originally ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1994.
Nitty Gritty is another in a long line of talented
reggae singers who have labored in relative obscurity. This
tribute (he was fatally shot in 1991) is a fine collection
of his work.
In the mid-80's, thanks in large part to the
availability of digital production and drum machines, the
computer style of reggae (or "dancehall") came into
The 14 songs on this disc, produced by the legendary
King Jammy and recorded at his famed studio, forever capture
Gritty's cutting-edged sound. His mellow vocals mesh
perfectly with the inside-out rhythms as he sings in his
unique and soulful style.
From such classics as "Sweet Reggae Music" and "Hog Ina
Minty" through "Trials and Crosses," this is computer reggae
at its finest. If you're unfamiliar with Nitty Gritty, make
sure to check out this recording. It's an excellent
introduction to this talented, and sorely missed, Jamaican
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