19/05/2018: “Sam’s Intro” by Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari


Count Ossie’s 1975 album Tales Of Mozambique is a deeply spiritual mediation on Rastafari and the relationship of Caribbean Black people to Africa.

Like many of the songs on that album, “Sam’s Intro” is an instrumental piece. The main melody is provided by a trumpet, with rolling piano riff in the background. The song has a real dread march feel due to the relentless bass drum.

This kind of style of reggae is more properly known as Nyabinghi, which is a style of drumming used in Rastafari religious sessions. Count Ossie is considered a pioneer of the modernised reggae form of this, which is ultimately descended from the tribal traditions retained by slaves who were stolen from Africa.

The Nyabinghi sound is the heavily syncopated rhythms of the conga drums, which is typically played by a large group of people who play a small part each.

The style of the album is reggae, but there is a strong jazz influence, which really places the emphasis on the great musicianship and displays some real virtuosity.



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