One of the greatest pleasures of being a record collector, is discovering a tune you already have! Falling into the bad habit of only skipping through albums and only settling to play the track I was initially interested in, makes me miss out on taking in an album properly. Sometimes, when you let an album play, you can be floored by a track you can’t believe you let slip by.

‘Village Soul’ by the vibraphone virtuoso Lennie Hibbert, is the stellar track that he is most known for. His interpretation of the Johnny Lytle song was lifted from the infamous 1969 Studio One album called ‘Creation’. However, the song that is my Track of the Week is called ‘Mighty’.

The tune has that rolling melodic bass-line which Studio One is synonymous for, with an added bonus that it also heavily features the legendary keyboard King Jackie Mittoo doing his thing! So much so that it has been included on the Jackie Mittoo compilation entitled ‘Tribute to Jackie Mittoo’.

To round the tune off, it is punctuated with a great trombone riff from the legendary Vin Gordon. Oddly enough, It seems to be a stand-alone track, as I have not identified another version of the rhythm, which is quite unusual for the label, buts adds kudos to the song!

Jackie Mittoo was the musical director at Studio One. Lennie Hibbert was a tutor at the legendary Alpha Boys school, where he would have taught notable alumni like Skatalites members Don Drummond and Tommy McCook, as well as Vin Gordon who features in the track. Lennie’s tutelage helped the roll-call of talent that went on to be the cornerstones of Jamaican popular music. For this he was awarded an Order of Distinction (OD) in 1976. He is one of the unsung heroes of Jamaican music, which led to him receiving an award from the Jamaican Reggae Industry Association (JARIA) in 2009.

His contribution to shaping Jamaican popular music is immense, but his recorded material is small. He released 3 albums in his lifetime;  a Jazz album as his debut;  the classic ‘Creation’ being his second, and the follow-up album, the rare ‘More Creation’ being his final release. He had also recorded some singles for Studio One and Moodisc. This track personifies the great musicianship which made the Studio One label legendary, and also what has made Lennie Hibbert a legend!

Mark Professor, (Wreck It Up Crew/ Stereocity Sound/ Soca Saga Boys/ The Reference Library, London)