So what are musicians in a funk or salsa band to do when they really want play the sort of old-school reggae music they grew up loving? They simply band together with similarly frustrated players in other ensembles and form a dubwise side project like the Lions, which involves members of Breakestra, Orgone, Plant Life and the bands of Macy Gray and Connie Price.
On paper at least, Jungle Struttin’ might seem like a lark, a busman’s holiday for musos with too much time on their hands. But all these hombres are serious students of the classic Jamaican sound of the late 60s and early 70s, and despite the impromptu nature of the recording session, they’ve come up with a set of surprisingly authentic-sounding roots reggae jams. Actually, apart from the tracks on which they unwisely attempt to vocalize, Jungle Struttin’ is closer in spirit to the deep groove of Sound Dimension than most of what’s come off the island since.