Q (11/99, p.160) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...they could clearly cut a slinky War-like, jazz-funk groove between the praises to Jah. Much sampled in recent times, not least by the Fugees. Justification, then, at least."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.66) - "[A] unique hippy funk rooted in calypso, reggae, jazz, R&B and African rhythms."
Cymande: Joey Dee (vocals, percussion), Patrick Patterson (guitar); Derek Gibbs (soprano & alto saxophone); Mike Rose (alto saxophone, flute, bongos); Desmond Atwell (saxophone); Steve Scipio (bass); Sam Kelly (drums); Pablo Gonzales (congas).
Includes liner notes by A. Scott Galloway.
Personnel: Joey Dee, Ray King (vocals, percussion); Patrick Patterson (guitar); Derek Gibbs, Peter Serreo (saxophone); Sam Kelly (drums); Mike Rose (percussion, wind).
Liner Note Author: A. Scott Galloway.
Invigorating head music done Rastafarian style by Cymande. "Zion I" is a spiritual chant put to music, setting the mood for Cymande. A laid-back "One More" lulls you into subliminal meditation before "Getting It Back" jolts you into some scintillating Jamaican funk-fusion. There's a message in many of Cymande's cuts, with "Listen," and "Bra" (a recognition of the women's lib movement), the most inspiring. Both are sung with passion, and are skillfully executed; the former is slow and painstaking in its message, while "Bra" slaps you upside the head with a stirring sax solo and bass-fueled vamp. An air of supreme coolness permeates Cymande, unusual for a first effort written by members of the band. Cymande sound like they have done this before; nowhere is this more evident than on the beautiful "Dove," a gorgeous concoction of lead guitar, tambourines, haunting backing vocals, and percussion, with the horns used as sparingly as table-seasoning on a gourmet dish. Along with "Bra," the group's most popular cut is "The Message" -- it's difficult keeping body parts still on this grooving mutha. All in all, Cymande is a marvelous collection that premiered a fine funk band. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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