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Jamaica & Reggae

An album with arrangements  and performances by Stephen Gislason

First trip to Jamaica was in 1969 - a real revelation for me - my first escape from Ontario winter. I never before felt the warmth and succulence of a semi-tropical island. First there were the tourist delights - beaches, fresh fruits, luxury hotels. Beyond the tourists lay the beautiful island, the people and the complexities at the interfaces between rich and poor. I developed a strong preference for the poor people, explored the blue mountains, heard the reggae music and listened to the stories. I imagined I could live in Jamaica forever. Returning to Bob Marley's Reggae was in a way nostalgic and, at the same time, a musical adventure. You might argue that Marley and the Wailers produced music in a raw undeveloped form, a vehicle for Marely's words which were personal and political. In my arrangements there are no lyrics, so I focused on developing the music.

Jamaica A Download
No Woman, No Cry
Natural Mystic
Could You Be Loved
Three Little Birds
Jamaica B Download
I Shot the Sheriff
Get Up
Keep on Moving
One Love
So Much Trouble in the World

I shot the Sheriff

Three Little Birds

No Woman No Cry

Bob Marley introduced Jamaican Reggae to a world audience. Marley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Time magazine chose his Exodus as the greatest album of the 20th century. ROLLING Stone chose Marley as the 19th best singers of all times. Their explanation: "It is hard to separate his voice from what he was singing about. Bob Marley sang with a great deal of power — enough to shake the foundations of his country's government. A measure of a great singer is getting a message across, saying things that otherwise would not be heard. And in a world that has ways of shutting down people that talk about peace and love, Bob Marley could get that message across and inspire us. It's rare that something so serious and so beautiful as his music can rise as clearly to the top as he did. His voice is one of the most important inspirations of our time — he was the voice of oppressed people all over the world."

Lyrics- Three Little Birds
Don't worry about a thing,' cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin, Don't worry about a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right
Rise up this morning, smiled with the rising sun.
Three little birds pitch by my door-step,
singin' sweet songs of melodies pure and true,
sayin, This is my message to you-ou-ou.
Singin, Don't worry about a thing,
'cause every little thing is gonna be all right
(repeat)
I won't worry.