Monday, February 8, 2010

The Godfather of Rocksteady

click to enlarge

Alton Ellis, widely considered the Godfather of Rocksteady,  may have the finest voice I have ever heard. He has such a natural blueness to his voice, in the sense that The Blues, came from the use of a "Blue Note" which, musically speaking, is nothing more than a flatted 3rd, 5th, or 7th. Basically its that extra drop in key that carries the whole emotion that separates the Blues from any other genre. It also allows the concept and feeling of the blues to penetrate any other genre, or even non musical situation (I'm sure you would agree, its easy to have and sing the blues without being a musician). Back to Alton, his voice dances around the flats and minors, dripping emotion on every note, but then in an instant, he can jump a full octave and hit a high note with sheer perfection. His career spanned decades and he is one of the most respected voices in the history of Jamaica (Trenchtown, Kingston to be specific). I have a feeling I'm going to be sharing quite a bunch more Alton Ellis, or his remarkably talented sister Hortense Ellis (or their work together) before the year is up. Here he is with one of his early outfits, Alton Ellis and the Flames.

Song #68: Alton Ellis - How Can I

1 comment:

  1. I agree this guy has a great voice very sincere. The song paints a picture of such a surreal place then the lyrics bring you back down to earth. Sing it Alton