|ROCKSTONE: NATIVE'S ADVENTURES WITH LEE PERRY AT THE BLACK ARK, SEPTEMBER 1977
CD: Pressure Sounds
Wayne Jobson has led an interesting life. Born in Jamaica, his extended family have played crucial roles behind the scenes in Jamaican music: his cousin Dickie Jobson formed Island Records with Chris Blackwell and his cousin Diane Jobson was Bob Marley's lawyer for many years. Encouraged by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, young Wayne took a few small steps into the music business. He formed the bands Little Madness and Native, recording a handful of songs that have remained obscure and mostly unreleased. In 1977, Jobson found himself at the Black Ark studio where Lee Perry's flamboyant command of the mixing board made a strong impression. Jobson nervously told Perry that he had some songs to sing, and Perry immediately took a shine to him. The result was six melancholy songs and their dub versions which were never released. On the one hand, this is puzzling given the strength of the material. On the other hand, Jobson's abstract lyrics and Perry's haunting arrangements ensured that these songs would never be hits. For an average reggae fan, Rockstone is going to be too dark and brooding; for serious Lee Perry fans, it's a revelation. Reminiscent of the equally austere Ras Michael recordings that resulted in Love Thy Neighbour, these are austere songs of sadness that smoulder and sizzle with the trademark Black Ark sound. A totally unique release.