LEE "SCRATCH" PErry Cutting Razor: Rare Cuts From The Black Ark (Heartbeat/Rounder) Rating: NNN
If you thought the best tracks had already been extracted from Lee Perry's seemingly bottomless Black Ark tape vault, you'd be right. Cutting Razor is a ragtag collection of stuff that wasn't worthy of a spot on many previous comps. There are still a few interesting moments, however, namely Junior Byles's title track - a version of the Joe Higgs tune popularized by Peter Tosh as Stepping Razor - along with Max Romeo's pointed shot at Michael Manley, One Step Forward, and a couple of pleasant tunes from an unreleased Junior Murvin album meant to follow Police And Thieves but shelved when Perry had a disagreement with Island boss Chris Blackwell. This probably won't be the last set of Black Ark rarities.