Entertainment

Sforzini makes Grammy Final

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Thursday, November 21, 2019

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In the last two years, Hernon Sforzini conducted recording sessions in Buenos Aires and Kingston with some of the musicians he grew up listening to in his native Argentina. That hard work has paid off with a Grammy nomination for The Final Battle: Sly and Robbie vs The Roots Radics.

The album is one of five up for Best Reggae Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards, scheduled for January 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Rapture by Koffee, Mass Manipulation by Steel Pulse, More Work to be Done from Third World and As I Am by Julian Marley, are the rival nominees.

Speaking with the Jamaica Observer from Buenos Aires yesterday, the usually chatty Sforzini searched for words.

“Wow! I can't believe it bro, I'm so happy for all the musicians,” he said.

The Final Battle was released in April. It hears Sly and Robbie's Taxi Gang and the Roots Radics, led by bassist Errol “Flabba Holt” Carter, backing acts like Lee “Scratch” Perry, Toots Hibbert, Max Romeo, Ken Boothe, Horace Andy, Michael Rose, Pablo Moses and The Mighty Diamonds.

Final sessions for The Final Battle took place last year in Buenos Aires and at Tuff Gong studios in Kingston.

In addition to Sly Dunbar on drums and Robbie Shakespeare on bass, Taxi Gang comprised saxophonist Dean Fraser, keyboardists Franklyn “Bubbler” Waul and Sidney Mills, Addis Pablo on melodica, Marcus Uranis from American band Groundation, and the SOJA brass section of Rafael Rodriguez Morales and Hellman Escorcia.

The 'Radics' team included drummer Kirk Bennett, keyboardist Lloyd “Obeah” Denton, guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith and percussionist Bongo Herman.

Early this year, Sforzini told the Jamaica Observer that it was a privilege working with musicians who helped shape Jamaican music.

“Sly and Robbie and Roots Radics are the architects of roots-reggae and this album aims to recognise them,” he said.

The 43-year-old Sforzini is from Lanus, a city in southern Argentina. He has recorded, or promoted shows in Argentina, with acts including Israel Vibration, Steel Pulse, The Congos, and Andrew Tosh.


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