Sunday, April 29, 2012

Unusual Instruments: Jah Light

Augustus Pablo: Jah Light


The melodica, also known as the blow-organ or the key-flute, was long regarded as a children's toy and not much more. Minimal music composer Steve Reich was one of the first ones to use it as a 'serious' instrument, while the odd jazz cat had fun with it, too. But it was Jamaica-born Horace Swaby, better known as Augustus Pablo, who made the melodica really respectable. In his able hands, the instrument came alive and added an ethereal, far eastern and sometimes almost otherwordly atmosphere to many a roots and dub classic.

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