More Lynn Tait Tributes

Lynn Taitt at Home

Lynn Taitt at Home

The two newspapers of Jamaica published obituaries for Lynn Taitt who died Wednesday in Toronto, Canada where he had been ailing for sometime.

The Jamaica Gleaner started their obit with: During a 1965 recording session at Federal Records, Trinidadian guitarist Lynn Taitt decided he wanted a different sound for Take It Easy, a ska song he and his band, The Jets, were cutting with singer Hopeton Lewis.

“When I went to Jamaica and started playing with Baba Brooks and those guys, everything was fast, but in Trinidad they had fast calypso and slow calypso,” Taitt said in a 2003 interview. “So that day I told Gladdy (keyboardist Gladstone Anderson) to slow the tempo and that’s how Take It Easy and rocksteady came about,” he added. “Rocksteady is really slow ska.

There are many conflicting stories about the early days of Jamaican popular music, but not many persons challenge Taitt’s claim to being the creator of rocksteady.

The Jamaica Observer had these quotes from well respected individuals: “Lynn Taitt was a musician’s musician,” prominent music selector/historian Winston Blake told Splash. “He had a persona that made it comfortable for everybody who came in his presence to work along with him,” the founder/operator of the famous Merritone sound system added.

“He played a role in Bob Marley’s career, and touched the lives of countless reggae greats,” was how well-known musicologist Roger Steffens remembered Lynn Taitt. “He will be remembered by historians as one of the major contributors to the internationalisation of reggae, particularly for his work in spreading the music in Canada,” the reggae historian added.

Spring Line Jamaica has a good write up of him and had this to say “Lynn Taitt may not have received the fame and recognition that he probably should have but I am and I’m sure a lot of you will be eternally grateful for all the hard work and brilliant music he has been a party to over the last 40plus years, his legacy will remain forever as a giant of Caribbean music”

Here’s a classic from the master himself. He will be missed greatly.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.