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Brigadier Jerry

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Brigadier Jerry

Real Name: Robert Russell
September 28th, 1957
Place of Birth: Kingston, Jamaica

Now considered one of the most influential Jamaican DJs of the 80s, it is surprising to learn that Brigadier Jerry (aka Briggy) made such an impact mainly through sound tapes (live recordings of sound system dances). He is without equal as a lyrical improviser, despite the relative rarity of his recordings.
Born in the Papine area of eastern Kingston, Brigadier Jerry's early interest in music led him to U-Roy's King SturGav Hi-Fi. In 1978, he was spreading the word of the Twelve Tribes of Israel organization on the Jah Love sound system, and sometimes recorded with other members such as Fred Locks. Freddie McGregor and Judah Eskender Tafari encouraged him to record three tracks for Studio One in 1982, before Delroy Stansbury released "Pain" and "Gwan A School" on the Jwyanza label. Aside from Jah Love he worked with several other sound systems, such as Supreme Love, Wha Dat and Black Star. While in the USA, Briggy worked with Downbeat International and acquired a growing following of DJ admirers who often recorded his lyrics. Jamaica Jamaica, was released on Jah Love Musik in 1985 and is still considered one of Brigadier Jerry's best albums.

It contained a classic version of "Armaggedon" by Bunny Wailer. He also recorded several tracks for the Supreme, Techniques and George Phang labels, but remained relatively quiet on the recording front until On The Road was released in early 1991. Resident in New York for the past few years, Briggy returned to Jamaica and recorded Hail Him for Tapper Zukie. Another album was released by VP in 1995, following which Brigadier Jerry hooked up with U-Roy's reactivated King SturGav Hi-Fi sound system. He remains one of Jamaica's most popular live DJs.

Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2005
Source - BBC Music Profiles

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