Linval Roy Carter more popularly known as Prince Jazzbo celebrated his 62nd birthday on September 3rd. Unfortunately, this would be the Jamaican music veteran's last. On the evening of September 11th the artiste/ producer succumbed to his ongoing battle with stage four lung cancer in his home.
Prince Jazzbo was a foundation dj whose best work was probably done in collaboration with the legendary producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. The seminal recording Super Ape featured Jazzbo toasting on "Croaking Lizard", one of the most distinctive reggae songs ever made.
Jazzbo first recorded for Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label in the early 70s. His first hit came in 1972 when Dodd ran a backing track at random - Horace Andy's 'Skylarking' - and Jazzbo delivered on the first take for what would become the monster single, 'Crabwalking'. Several other Studio One hits in 1972-1974 included "School", "Fool For Love" and "I Imperial". Jazzbo went on to work with other producers including the like of Glen Brown, Bunny Lee and Lee Scratch Perry.
1977 saw the launch of Jazzbo's Ujama label. Initially he began recording as a singer for the label, under the name Johnny Cool. With dancehall burgeoning at the start of the 80s however, the label became more of a sanctuary for pioneering deejays such as U-Roy and I. Roy. It is also responsible for finding the sorts of reggae acts other producers overlook, including Zebra, Manchez, Horace Ferguson and Frankie Paul.
Jazzbo's career experienced an unexpected boost in 1990 when Studio One released his most highly rated album, Choice of Version. Though some 18 years late, the album received raving reviews.
Prince Jazzbo leaves behind an astounding legacy, imprinted in the history of Jamaican music. Being an artiste who was himself overlooked and having discovered potential in many others like himself, his forward thinking bravado is best describe in his own words, "a donkey may not arrive quickly, but it was good enough to carry Jesus and will not suffer a mechanical breakdown on the way".
On August 18th a fund was created for Prince Jazzbo, initially to cover medical bills. However with his untimely passing the funds are now intended to ensure The Prince will receive a well deserved final rest.
Although his recent battle with advanced lung cancer came to end, Jazzbo goes without being silence. A new Prince Jazzbo track entitled 'What a tribulation' will be released on Saturday 14th of September.
You can listen to the instrumental version here