November 3, 2023
Sly Dunbar is distancing himself from an album that bears his and musical partner Robbie Shakespeare’s name. The legendary drummer said he gave no authorisation for Sly & Robbie and The Team Taxi – Shakespeare The Bassman to be released.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, Dunbar said the eight-song album was released in August by Kazuhiki “Kaz” Asonuma, a Japanese businessman. It is among the 65 albums being considered for the Best Reggae Album category at next year’s Grammy Awards.
“We have nothing to do with it in terms of release, because the songs aren’t even mixed properly. No way wi would have given permission to release something like dat,” Dunbar said.
Sly & Robbie and The Team Taxi contains songs played by the ‘Riddim Twins’ featuring acts such as Devin Di Dakta and Shania Russell. Dunbar said the product released is not on par with standards set by him and Shakespeare, his longtime production partner who died in 2021.
Asonuma has a long association with Sly And Robbie. He was part of the team that worked on Friends, their 1998 album that won the Grammy for Best Reggae Album the following year.
Another project on which they collaborated was Rhythm Doubles, a 2006 album which hears them working with acts such as Wyclef Jean, Bounty Killer, Ali Campbell, Elephant Man and Beres Hammond. That album was nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award.
Five albums are expected to be named by the Recording Academy on November 15 for the 2024 Best Reggae Album category. The Kalling by Kabaka Pyramid won the award this year.
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