Prince Jazzbo, Jamaican DJ, producer, and label owner died today at the age of 62. Though he never enjoyed great commercial success, Jazzbo was a prolific and well respected contributor to the Jamaican music scene. Born as Linval Roy Carter on September 3, 1961 in Clarendon, Jamaica, he began his career in the early ‘70s working at Sir Coxsone Dodd’s legendary Studio One. There he recorded one of his most popular songs, a version of Horace Andy’s “Skylarking” called “Crab Walking.” Jazzbo left Studio One because Dodd refused to release his Choice of Version album, which finally saw the light of day through a release in 1991.
After leaving Coxsone, Jazzbo went on to work with producers Glen Brown and Bunny Lee. During this period, he also developed his famous rivalry with fellow toaster I-Roy. The two released competing tracks, “Straight to Jazzbo’s Head” and “Straight to I-Roy’s Head,” both of which are considered classics of 70’s DJ work. In 1976, Jazzbo appeared on Lee Scratch Perry’s classic dub album Super Ape- Jazzbo’s echo-laden vocals adorn the brilliant track “Croaking Lizard.” The next year Jazzbo founded the Ujama label, which released music by I-Roy and U-Roy, along with his own recordings. Recently Jazzbo became ill with lung cancer. He nevertheless continued to work on a final track, “Tribulations,” which will be released on Saturday.
Listen to some Jazzbo here.