NEGRIL, Negril, Klik, LP, UK/Micron, JA,

A production credit to Eric Gale can only add to any initial impression of “easy listening” given by this instrumental set from 1975.  But as with those funky C.T.I. albums of the same decade to which the smooth US jazz guitarist contributed there’s no denying the quality of the musicianship on offer, in the present case supplied by the likes of Peter Tosh (lead and rhythm guitar), Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett and Val Douglas (bass), Cedric Brooks (saxophone and percussion), Paul Douglas and Sparrow Martin (drums) and Joe Higgs (percussion).  There’s a credit to the great (sometimes unjustly overlooked) Sylvan Morris as engineer, in addition, and the whole thing was recorded at Harry J’s studio (just like parts of Catch A Fire and Burnin’ in its entirety).  
Having a version of Bob Marley’s international hit “I Shot The Sheriff” as the opening track perhaps hints at the market for which this was pitched, and nothing here was ever likely to disturb the tourists flocking to the Jamaican coastal resort that gave the set its title.  In short, listeners with tastes limited to heavy dub were never likely to find anything to tickle their palettes here, yet anyone looking for a mellow, superbly-played mid-1970s instrumental reggae album could do far worst than seek this out.  An eye-catching sleeve portraying the fun to be had in Negril, and redolent of an era when being ‘dread’ was the fashion, completes the package.      

Peter Dalton