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Friday, 28 November 2008

Dancehall nostalgia

Gregory Isaacs in front of his African Museum store on Chancery Lane, Kingston; photo by Beth Lesser, from her book Dancehall

American Beth Lesser of Reggae Quarterly visited Jamaica several times in the 1980s, interviewing and photographing some of the leading musicians of the day. Soul Jazz Records has just published a compilation of her photos and text documenting the evolving sound of the period: Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture. The UK Observer has posted an online gallery of Lesser's images, including remarkable portraits of musicians from Gregory Isaacs (above) to Wayne Smith to Bobby Melody. And Steve Yates reviewed Lesser's book in the Observer a few months ago, and so did Ian Burrell, more recently, in the Independent.

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