FOR the first time, Nyahbinghi music is nominated for a Grammy Award. The Wingless Angels -- Deluxe Limited Edition, a collaboration between Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and ska great Justin Hinds, is one of five albums selected for a Grammy in the Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package category. The 54th Grammy Award ceremony is scheduled for The Staples Centre, Los Angles on February 12, 2012.
Released in September, 2010, the album was executively produced by Jane Rose (Richards' long-time manager) and Jamaican music industry veteran Wayne Jobson.
"It was a magical session, combining Justin Hinds, one of Jamaica's greatest, with Keith one of rock's greatest to make this historical album. We were all devastated when Justin Hinds passed after the album was recorded, but it is a living testament to his genius," said Wayne's brother, Brian Jobson, who was also involved with the project.
Besides The Wingless Angels, the other albums in the category are The King Of Limbs, The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story, 25th Anniversary Music Box and 25 Years.
Wayne Jobson told the Observer that the album was submitted in the reggae category, but was placed in the World category since it is regarded as Nyahbinghi, not reggae. Nyahbinghi is one of the three mansions of Rastafari, the others being Bobo Shanti and Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Richards first came to Jamaica in the 1970s to record Goats Head Soup with the Rolling Stones at Dynamic Sounds. He eventually settled near St Ann's Bay which was close to a Rastafarian community in the rural district of Steer Town. That is where he met Justin Hinds, who was best known for hitting it big a decade earlier with the ska song, Carry Go Bring Home.
Richards and Hinds struck up a lasting friendship and started jamming Nyabinghi music with Steer Town Rastafarian chanters who called themselves the Wingless Angels.
In the mid 1990s, Richards took 'The Angels' to his house in St Ann and recorded the first Wingless Angels album which was released by Chris Blackwell's Island Records.
Ten years later, Richards and the Wingless Angels went back to a small studio in the St Ann hills to record their second album which was produced by Richards.
Nyahbinghi music has had a tremendous influence on reggae. Oh Carolina, done in the 1950s by the Ffolkes Brothers, featured roots group Count Ozzie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari.
In the 1970s, Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus enjoyed measured success with the Tommy Cowan-produced Nyahbinghi album Rastafari containing the classic None of Jah Jah Children No Cry.