7” Powerhouse (1984)

In 1984 a diminutive 18 year old named Clive Bright approached producer George Phang at Dynamic Sounds, wanting to cut a tune. ‘Him was next to tears. Him say no one wanted to record him’, said Phang. The producer took a chance and handed over the mic after which ‘the little youth start sing, his voice was bigger than him… it hold mi. The whole studio start cheer’, and luckily for the rest of us dancehall was never going to be quite the same.

This was Tenor Saw’s first ever release, Roll is Called. A wicked cut of the Queen Majesty riddim that launched his career.

After which he spent time with Sugar Minott on Youth Promotion Sound and went on to record a string of hits with all the prominent producers of the time, Pumpkin Belly (Jammy’s), Ring the Alarm (Techniques), Golden Hen (Uptempo), Lots of Sign (Youth Promotion) and Fever (Youth Promotion) among others.

In 1987 he moved to New York where he recorded Victory Train, Come Me Just A Come and Chill Out Chill Out. Sadly a year later he was found dead by the roadside, supposedly hit by a car in Houston, Texas.

Tenor Saw lit up and helped define the sound of his time in four short years, with his sweet, unique and instantly recognisable singjay style voice. Gone too soon, his legacy, his music will endure.

More info:
Tenor Saw lives on – Jamaica Observer
Tenor Saw – a tribute – Perfect Sound Forever
Tenor Saw – a dancehall tenor – United Reggae

Conviction Roots