Allan Swymmer: Jamaica Heights 8/1/06
Allan Swymmer, the lead singer of Jamaica's greatest mento group, the Jolly Boys.
Allan Swymmer, whose infinite creativity makes his entire life a work of art.
Allan Swymmer, who made this CD with me the day we met.
Allan Swymmer, who said I was a "second Moses"--a second Moses Deans, the late Jolly Boys banjoist.
I got Allan's phone number from the great mento scholar Dan Neely. So when I reached Port Antonio, I called Allan. A few nights later, I picked him up at the end of the long bumpy road to his home in Land Settlement. We went back to my hotel, Jamaica Heights and ate and drank and sang and played and recorded everything.
Allan sang a bunch of mento classics, including the seldom-heard "No Lacatan"--about a lady's preference in bananas and "Water the Garden--about a lady's need for horticultural service. And he introduced fine new originals, including "Run Come Come" and "No Rain on the Ground."
Willie, the cook at Jamaica Heights, played kitchen percussion. JoAnn played rumba box. I played banjo. And Jamaica's greatest mento musician, Allan Swymmer, led with guitar and vocals.
This is how it was. Thanks, Allan.
Peace and love,
September 29, 2007