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Tony Greene pays Tribute to The Duke

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Sunday, April 27, 2014

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LOVERS of rocksteady music grew up on the classic sounds of Treasure Isle and Studio One. As a youth in east Kingston, saxophonist Tony Greene was intrigued by their melodic horn arrangements.

He pays tribute to some of Treasure Isle's renowned beats on Tribute To The Duke, a 14-song set to be released this week by Brooklyn, New York's Keeling Records.

The 'Duke' refers to Arthur 'Duke' Reid, founder of the Treasure Isle studio and label which flourished during the rocksteady era of the 1960s.

"Treasure Isle had a unique sound, different than Studio One. They were both authentic, but as a musician Treasure Isle has something I can relate to," he said.

Greene puts his stamp on popular Reid productions such as The Melodians' Swing and Dine, Those Guys (The Sensations) and Queen Majesty, a hit for The Techniques.

According to Greene, the idea to record the album came from producer Keeling Beckford, a veteran of the New York City reggae scene.

Not only was it an opportunity for Greene to salute a great Jamaican music company, but also his musical mentor Tommy McCook, the legendary saxophonist who led The Supersonics, Treasure Isle's house band.

"When I was at Alpha (Boys' School) I always heard about Tommy McCook and The Skatalites," said Greene, who met McCook in the early 1970s when he started his recording career.

"He gave me a lot of great tips. He used to say 'when yuh solo use less notes an' more phrase'," Greene recalled.

A former policeman, Duke Reid died from cancer in 1975, leaving one of the most impressive catalogues in Jamaican popular music.

Greene left Alpha the year Reid died. He went on to play with the Jamaica Military, Sonny Bradshaw and Lloyd Parks and We The People bands.

Tribute To The Duke is his 12th album. His previous, Expressions, was released in 2011.




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