Producer Leroy Scarlett, whose formative years revolved round Music Mountain Studio, owned by his cousin Chris Stanley, has sufficient materials to put in writing volumes in regards to the flamboyant personalities who’ve been a part of the material known as reggae music. He has began writing his first “tell-all”, however within the meantime, Scarlett is again on observe, dusting off songs sitting idly on cabinets and packaging them into nice albums, whereas additionally engaged on new recordings.
Scarlett has hobnobbed with the leisure elite who recurrently took the pilgrimage to Stanley’s mountaintop enclave. “On the studio, I met Grace Jones, Boy George, Millie Jackson, Billie Paul and each Jamaican artiste and musician and producer who had a reputation,” Scarlett reminisced. And he made sensible strikes again then, getting a few of those self same artistes to file songs for him.
His actions have translated into a list of unreleased materials, out of which comes his newest album, Tribute to the Legends, Gone However Not Forgotten, on his Reggae Powerhouse label. Dennis Emmanuel Brown, Gregory Isaacs, and Frankie Paul, three giants in reggae music, who died in July 1999, October 2010 and Might 2017, respectively, are featured on the album. Tribute to the Legends, Gone However Not Forgotten, which is a mixture of unique songs and favourites from their catalogues, was launched final Friday and is distributed by Tuff Gong Worldwide.
Scarlett knew every of the artistes personally, earlier than they even considered giving him a tune, and thru this and different tasks within the pipeline, he “hopes that we will preserve their reminiscences alive for generations to come back”.
He readily admits that this challenge is particular to him and speaks with nice fondness about Gregory Isaacs, who he referred to by his nickname, ‘Tooth’, in addition to Frankie Paul and D Brown. However Scarlett continues to be distracted by ideas of what may have been had his mates determined to make higher well being decisions.
He stated that he met Dennis Brown at Dynamic Sounds with a younger Child Wayne, when Gregory Isaacs had recorded a track for him and promised to get D Brown on the observe as properly. “I met Dennis Brown once more after that, and we shaped an actual good relationship. Dennis Brown was undoubtedly one of many greats,” Scarlett stated.
Gregory Isaacs, he acknowledged, was his brother. “I used to be launched to him by Sly and Robbie on the studio, and at one level, I used to be like his little gopher. Each time he got here to Music Mountain, I used to be the one who would go and purchase meals for him and no matter else he wanted. After I obtained into slightly bother, ‘Tooth’ (Gregory) despatched me away and instructed me to not come again to Jamaica till issues had been sorted out,” Scarlett shared.
For him, Gregory was the final word entertainer, each on and off stage. Amongst his treasure chest of Gregory reminiscences is a time after they had been down within the islands for a present, and the artiste simply occurred to be on the street with some contraband after they noticed the cops. “I encourage him, ‘Tooth, simply maas it nuh man.’ And him look pon mi and seh ‘It appear like seh yuh neglect seh is me sing Cover and Lick. Me a di solely artiste who authorized fi use medication’. And with that, he didn’t disguise,” Scarlett remembers, nonetheless laughing on the incident.
He additionally recalled that after Gregory recorded the now-classic One Man Towards the World album for producer Tapa Zukie at Music Mountain, he gave Scarlett a track, Lonely Teardrop, and he even defined the title. “As a result of di woman dem tek yuh cash and bruk yuh coronary heart,” Scarlett stated, in his finest Gregory impersonation.
Then there was the time when Gregory gave him an album to place out and “mek some cash”, however what he discovered shortly after was that Gregory had additionally given one other man the identical album, maybe with the identical set of directions. “The man put it out earlier than me, and that was the well-known Father and Son album with Gregory and Kevin Isaacs,” Scarlett stated, even smiling at his good friend’s antics. However Gregory did make it as much as him by voicing different songs.
Frankie Paul, he shared, was his daughter’s godfather. Shortly after she was born, the singer visited with them and named himself within the function. “So yuh know that we had been actual shut. However Frankie was one other artiste who simply wouldn’t take note of his well being. I did a present with him in Antigua, and simply as he got here off stage, he fell in poor health and stated I ought to take him dwelling. I had put him up at my sister’s home the place he may very well be higher monitored than in a resort. The following morning, we took him to the physician, and he was admitted instantly. The physician instructed him that if he survived, he could be dishonest demise. Properly, he did, however by the point he was out, he was again to consuming every little thing the physician had warned him to not as a result of he was diabetic,” Scarlett remembered.
Lower than a 12 months later, when Frankie Paul handed away, he remembered his phrases, “’I feel I’ve a 12 months or two to reside, so me a go gwaan get pleasure from it.’ I nonetheless have a complete album with him that’s unreleased,” the producer disclosed.
A few of Scarlett’s different productions embrace Reggae Prepare Collection One and Two; Frankie Paul’s It’s My Time; Judgement Time by Anthony B; 4 the Arduous Means, that includes Capleton, Sizzla, Anthony B and Luciano and Dimensions in Music.