MusicDish e-Journal - December 9, 2019
MusicDish Advertising Network
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

Cosmo: Get Up and Jump from Roots
By Mark Kirby
(more articles from this author)
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

Cosmo: Get Up and Jump from Roots
By Mark Kirby,

"Roots rock reggae/ it's a reggae music."

These words from Bob Marley describe the debut record by Cosmo Fraser. In this era of the rediscovered and retro - in fashion, sportswear, and all styles of music - it's inevitable and overdue to hear a new artist deal with old school reggae.

The island of Jamaica has absorbed and reflected back many forms of African-American music throughout its history. Jazz, jump blues, and soul music were boomed out over 100,000 watt stations in southern Florida, Louisiana, and Atlanta, and came back from the island as ska, rock steady, and reggae. It seems that Jamaican music is all about hip hop and dancehall, at the expense of a vast history of great music. And like the Neville Staple record of last year, which mined ska and late seventy's reggae/punk fusion, Cosmo's Get Up and Jump reinvents and creates within an old style.

"I was born and raised in Jamaica, W.I., in the Parish of Westmoreland, about eight miles from the world famous Negril Beach. I grew up in the countryside, in a family of singers. Everyone on my mother's side of the family had excellent voices. My mother, aunts and uncles were stars in our local church choirs. When Aunt Zippy would sing, the congregation would be on its feet from the very first note. Our family's instruments are our voices.

"When one is in Jamaica, the first thing one realizes is that the sound of music is everywhere. You hear music coming from the house next door, from the dread riding his bicycle down the street, from cars, trucks, busses, and from one MASSIVE Sound System after another. Everyone has their radio tuned to some station which is playing music.

"It is a birth right of Jamaicans to share their music with everyone, so music is played loudly at all time and at all hours. Riding down the street, is like your ears are on 'scan,' as everyone has another tune on their radio."

It is fitting that one of the two covers on this eleven-song disk is "Sitting In Limbo" by Jimmy Cliff (from The Harder They Come soundtrack no less). Cliff, along with Toots (and the Maytals) is clearly the starting point for his vocal style. Though rock artists (and many of the tradition-bound jazz players of today) respect the past to the point of slavish imitation, Cosmo has clearly absorbed the tradition to the point that it is integrated in his musical being and, thus, while there are various influences, he has his own voice.

"I have no formal training in music, but have been singing before I could talk. I was told that the first note that came out of my mouth was a song. Because of my ear for music, I was always discouraged from taking formal training. In the words of Fully Fullwood, 'Don't try to interfere with your God given talents. Many people try to learn the things that you were born within your head.'"

"Medicine came by accident," he reflected on his leap from med school to the stage & studio. "I was always an excellent student, particularly in mathematics and the sciences - the guy who got A+ and debated the teacher about a mathematical concept or theorem. It was not until I was a sophomore in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University though that I got interested in medicine. And it only came about because I was seeing a girl who was a pre med student at the time. I literally came back to music, even though I had never left it, because I felt I had songs in my head which needed to be heard. I truly feel that nothing can stop the music."

Take a Listen to
"Get Up & Jump" CD

(downloadable mp3s)
Sitting In Limbo
Get Up And Jump
I Wanna Hold you Pretty Baby
Inside My Head

The title track "Get Up And Jump" sets the tone for the whole CD. It starts with a unison band intro that is pure early Wailers. Then the tune kicks off with a groove that is reminiscent of some of the earliest styles of reggae straight out of the film. Though not of the sound usually associated with the ganja-stoked, dread beat and blood image of hardcore "roots nattie," this is song is pure old school roots reggae because Cosmo captures the elegance and swing of early reggae, a sound at once raw, pure and slick. Like sixties soul music. This approach, which eschews dancehall reggae's obvious use of electronic percussion and sound effects, makes for authenticity. In other words, Cosmo brings the realness.

The next track, "I Wanna Hold you Pretty Baby," is a simple love song in the style of early Tuff Gong reggae that evolved out of rock steady. The scratchy guitar rhythms and tasty lead runs, along with the one-drop drum beat, underscore his Jamaican baritone with licks that are pure reggae. Over this percolating music, Cosmo rides in with his simple, but nimble, vocal melody.

This skanking roots sound is also prominent on his clever reversal of the Police song "Every Breath You Take." What musically starts out almost as an imitation along the lines of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord/He's So Fine" parallel (with the exception of the beat) is actually an inversion of the melody and lyrically places Cosmo, the singer, under the overbearing, ever lovin' gaze of his girlfriend: "Every step I take/Every rule I break/ Every slip I fake, girl/ Heard you watching me/ So here I am in your hands/ Taking a hell of a chance/ Do you know how it feels?"

Against the happy music and lilting melody, especially on the chorus, he sings the sentiment of many men in love - that such love is flattering, exciting, stifling, nerve- wracking, but sweet love none the less. How come movies don't tell this as well as this four minute song?

Through the disk there is an ever-present churning, the groove of the band, bubbling along like a thick stew of dub bass, drums, percussion, guitar licks, off beat organ bleats and sinew counter riffs. This is most evident on "Inside My Head." The song starts with a signature 70's-reggae unison band intro, followed by an old fashioned up tempo "one drop" drum beat played with masterful, veteran precision and feel by Horsemouth Wallace, and bouncing bass by George Fullwood. Tony Chin, mainstay guitarist of the legendary Studio One back up band, the Roots Radics, alternates scratchy, percussive guitar licks, with short, melodic runs that dart along.

On the Jimmy Cliff all time hit "Sitting in Limbo" Jawge Hughes lays down a bed of appropriately restrained gospel chords, over Wallace's beat played on Rasta maroon drums - bass drums and funda - and trap set. More than providing accompaniment and playing the chords, these musicians create the atmosphere that frames Cosmo's classic reggae voice and music. His old school approach would have fallen short had he not had the hand-of-God good fortune find a dream team of classic reggae musicians.

More on Cosmo
* Genre: Reggae/World
* Hometown: Jamaica
* Website:
* Buy "Get Up & Jump" CD
* Contact Cosmo

How did he hook up with such reggae luminaries like Leroy Wallace, George Fullwood and Tony Chin? "A mutual friend, John Bent, who's been behind the scenes in reggae for years, introduced me to Fully Fullwood and the rest is history. He felt that with my writing abilities and voice, Fully and the guys would make a perfect compliment. Clearly, I know about these players for decades. They all would be members of my All Time Reggae Band.

"Our first time in the studio was like hand in glove. It was as though we grew up with each other. The magic was so great with my first solo CD (Fire This Time) that it was natural to work with these fellows again. I just met Leroy for the first time for (this) recording. I have never met a better drummer, reggae or otherwise. His sense of time is impeccable."

A personal favorite is the last song, "Cosmo Reggae Party." This simple song, enriched by the cooking up tempo groove and the Skatalite-ish horn hits, sets the listener dancing or swaying to joyous feeling; it shows reggae in the best, perhaps truest light -as the party music of warm days in a small town on the north coast of Jamaica, in a backyard in upstate New York, in a dorm room in frozen college town in Ohio, anywhere where roots reggae has been heard and good times lived.

Check out his CD on Ginger Girl Records and his web site Seen?

Home » Music Spotlight » Cosmo: Get Up and Jump from Roots
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top

MusicDish Advertising Network

Music Spotlight

» Hollywood Heavyweights Launch New Christian Music Label

» Round Hill Music And Zync Sign Madge To Joint Venture

» YG PLUS and Gracenote to Bring K-POP to Fans around the World

» Lithuanian Band Grabs Bronze at the Silk Road Indie Music Festival 2017

» HBC Fall Festival Celebrates 12 years of HBC Fest

Music Spotlight Directory

» [2018-09-16] Live Nation Electronic Asia Inks Deal With Budweiser For Creamfields Festivals; Together, Creamfields And Budweiser Will Focus On Building Entirely New Content For Dedicated Electronic Music Fans Throughout Asia

» [2018-08-23] Andy Ma Appointed Warner Music China CEO; Andy Ma Has Also Been Appointed EVP, Commercial And Business Development For Greater China

» [2018-08-23] IndieOn Connects Music To The Blockchain; IndieOn Is Confident Of Creating A "music Miner" Who Listens More And Grow Their Token Value

» [2018-06-23] The 2018 MIDEM Silk Road International Music Alliance Signing; International Music Industries Signing Of A Mutual Resource Sharing Agreement With Shanghai Conservatory Of Music & The China Records Group

» [2018-06-06] Screen Music Connect To Explore The Music Of Film, Television And Interactive Media; Created By James Hannigan, Award-winning Composer And Game Music Connect Co-founder, Screen Music Connect Builds On The Success Of The Sold-out Game Music Conferences

» [2018-06-05] Fred Casimir To Develop BMG's Global Recordings Business; As Well As Building BMG's European Infrastructure, Casimir Was Instrumental In Developing BMG's Recordings Business

» [2018-06-03] 13 Music Label Sold To MTN; DSN Music Spins Off Record Label To Albuquerque Music Entrepreneur's New Group

» [2018-06-02] CISAC 2018 Annual Report; A Comprehensive Overview Of The Confederation's Work To Serve 4 Million Creators And 239 Authors Societies Across The World

» [2018-06-02] MusicDish Announces A Love Electric 2018 China Tour; The Tour Will Crisscross Through China With 12 Shows In 8 Cities, Including Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhuhai, Shenzhen, Kunming, Jiaxin, Wuhan And Beijing

» [2018-06-02] Darcus Beese Named President Of Island Records; Renowned U.K. Music Executive To Join Universal Music Group's U.S. Label Leadership

» [2018-05-17] Avant-Garde Label Maybe Noise Launches In Beijing; The Official Launch Will Be On May 26 At Magnet Theater With A Performance Supporting Its First Vinyl Release: Png Z

» [2018-05-04] Award-Winning Lithuanian Rock Band Colours Of Bubbles "She Is The Darkness" 2018 China Tour; The Tour Will Kickoff In Shanghai Where The Band Will Represent Lithuania During The Country's Signing To The Silk Road Music Alliance
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR

Micayla De Ette, Star Of The Upcoming Film Hold On, Releases Her New Single And Music Video "Write A Song", Featuring Flavor Flav

AWOLNATION Brings Fans "The Best" / Announces Tour With Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness

Pianist Luo Tingyuan Actively Advocates Cultural Exchanges On Classical And New Music - A Review For 'Young Professionals On Stage' Recital Series

Deadline Looms For Musicians - The 16th Annual Acoustic Music Awards

C Z A R I N A Releases Samurai Music Film "BLAZE: Dances Of The Yokai"

Stephanie Ryann Releases Her Official Music Video For "Whiskey Regret"

New Jersey Rock Band Scores Endorsement And Big Shows

Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2018 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships