The Meditations

The Meditations

The Meditations - Ansel Cridland, Danny Clarke and Winston Watson collectively known as The Meditations, recorded their first hit single Woman is Like a Shadow in 1974 at Channel One Recording Studio. The group made it’s mark and sealed their place as reggae legends with the release of the first two albums Message From The Meditations and Wake up produced by Dobby Dobson. Soon after came the third album Guidance produced by Ansel Cridland.

Known the world over as Jamaica’s legendary harmony trio, The Meditations captured the hearts of reggae fans around the world. This led to collaborations with Lee Scratch Perry. Scratch, who produced for Bob Marley and the Wailers, asked them to do back up vocals for Punky Reggae Party, featuring Bob on led vocals. Bob Marley was so pleased with their harmony that he went in search for the group to do more back up vocals for him. It is said by many that “The Meditation is Bob Marley’s favorite group,” which led to Bob requesting harmony and background vocals on songs like Rastaman Live Up and Blackman Redemption. The Meditations harmonic vocals can be heard on some of your favorite track such as, Bongo Man Youths Them A Cry by Jimmy Cliffs, Mr. Cop by Gregory Isaacs, to name a few.

In 1983 Linval Thompson produced The Meditations fourth album No More Friends. On this album all the lead vocals were sung by Ansel Cridland. Meanwhile Danny Clarke and Winston Watson later released For The Good Of Man. After some time separated Ansel begin to put the group back together with the release of Return Of The Meditations produced by Ansel in 1993 on Heartbeat record label.

Ansel followed up producing and releasing Ghetto Knowledge on the Easy Star label in 1999, then Stand In Love on his own label Meditations Music in 2004. As of late he as gone on to collaborate with yet another great Philip Smart for his latest album Dangerous Society, which was released jointly by Meditations Music and Philip Smart in 2011. Ansel is a dedicated musician writing, producing and releasing albums, and still touring with the addition of DaddyLion Chandell and Toussaint Webb on harmony.

The Meditations released a new album "Jah Will Always Find A Way" in September 2015.

Stymie & the Pimp Jones Love Orchestra

It ain't easy being stankalicious. This is especially true if you are an independent entity. But the funk is proving to be more relevant in the 21st century than ever before. Case in point: the recent revival and revitalization of Stymie and the Pimp Jones Love Orchestra, a San Francisco-based, multi-piece outfit lead by singer/songwriter Sean "Stymie" Sharp.
Stymie is an animated individual. When he speaks about anything, from music to comics to movies, he speaks with an intense and jovial vigor that is as learned as it is inspired. His tiny apartment is littered with ol' school accoutrements, from VHS tapes to boomboxes, but the beauty of modern media trends does not elude him whatsoever. "With file sharing and Youtube," says Stymie, "you are in more control of what you listen to." Thus, you can seek out what you like instead of being nudged into it or spoon-fed something more formulaic.
On this point, Stymie argues, "It is true that not all things are for all people. But this does not mean that you shouldn't give people – the fans – the benefit of the doubt." The man is speaking about categories and genres, abstract concoctions that lead people to "wearing uniforms. Like I got my punk rocker uniform and he's got his gangster uniform and so on." And sure, if you're gonna call Stymie and the PJLO anything, the man doesn't completely object to being tagged as a leader of a funk band, as he explains: "Funk is the least limited genre. 'Funk gets stronger' – to quote George Clinton – but we don't want to limit things at all." In other words, Stymie does not want to "categorize the fan base," as he is also inclined to dip his creative pen into avenues such as ska, R&B, rock, reggae, and even go-go. This musical diversity was a bit harder to realize way back in the 20th century, when massive corporations still dictated listening trends and indies had less resources for getting heard. But now? The game is on.
The band has come a long way and has accomplished a lot of things to get to the pinnacle thatit is at today. The current incarnation, a combo of veteran soldiers and funky-fresh blood, has Stymie tickled stink. "This version of the band is carving out its own identity with these newsongs." Indeed, he has been writing new ditties at an astonishing rate, "inspired by the blessing of these talented people." The current, exuberant and extra-tight line-up includes drummer Jon Merker, Brian Hill on guitar, bassist Martin Ledyard, Jerry Goldstone on guitar, Brigham Hausman on trombone, Keith Waldorf on trumpet, Emery Dora on keyboard, Tupac Mauricio Saavedra on saxophone, as well as vocalists Jospeh "Mojo" Powell, Erica Chriss Patten, Marilee Bazzano.
The new material, with such titles as "Brand New Mustard Machine," "La Toure A Go-Go,"and "Love in Space," will debut in late 2010 – (though a song or two might leak out on the web before that!) And in an effort to whet the appetites of longtime and potential fans alike,the band has uploaded high-quality performance footage of classic Stymie and the PJLO material on Youtube, tunes that can be heard on previous releases such as Dem Sum Goodies and The Secret Hits of the Black and Blue Parade.
Stymie, who grew up in Hollywood off of Sunset, started the band in San Francisco in 1996. The first lineup featured Joe "Mojo" Powell, a soulful harmonizer who still sings with the band today, and Marilee Bazzano soon followed. As for the band name, Stymie thought it up while walking down Haight Street, and the name, like his songs, are meant to remind the audience that there ain't nothin' but overflowin' imagination around here. The band soon proved itself to be incredible live, and while it has enjoyed the honor of opening gigs for the likes of Earth, Wind, & Fire, Fred Wesley, and Billy Preston over the years, Stymie and thePJLO has been packing 'em in with its own sold-out headlining shows for over a decade now.
This is why it is imperative for YOU to come see the man and his crew in a theatre near you.

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