Jason Wilson and Tabarruk
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Jason Wilson and Tabarruk

Band Jazz Reggae


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The best kept secret in music


"Boot Box review of dREaD & BLUE"

Rating: A
"[Wilson] has been able to make a brand of reggae that never falls back on the clichés of the genre, and his music is all the more credible as a result. . . My favorite, though, has to be “Walk on a Sunday Morning” with its percussive intro, tasty piano, good lyrics (“This ain’t no Kingston 12 but we had our problems still/oh, on that I can be sure……”), strong chorus and upbeat reggae rhythm. . . it is a creative expression of a valid artistic vision, well worth both your time and money." - Ted Boothroyd - Jahworks.Org [June 2004]

"NOW Magazine review of dREaD & BLUE"

To be honest, I don't usually like fake Jamaican accents. UB40 and Snow make my skin crawl. But the Scottish-Canadian Jason Wilson seems sincere enough on this organic if adult-contemporaryish reggae/jazz/ballad/Scottish folk fusion album "dedicated to the Jamaican, Trinidadian, Italian, Newfie, Indian, Armenian" cultures that "unwittingly forged" Wilson's culture here in Toronto. High-calibre musicianship, too, with a bevy of talented instrumentalists including Waleed Abdulhamid. - NOW Magazine - Jason Richards

"ReggaePlus Radio on Jason Wilson"

"...it may well be that to chart the future of reggae music you have to look to Canada and check Jason Wilson and Tabarruk."
Lee Marshall - ReggaePlus Radio - ReggaePlus Radio [May 2004]

"Word Magazine review of dREaD & BLUE"

"Outstanding jazz-infused reggae."
WORD Magazine - [June, 2004] - Word Magazine

"Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal review of dREaD & BLUE"

"A remarkable sound, a refreshingly inventive band, and the kind of album you’ll want to have in your music collection."
Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal [10 June, 2004]
- Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal

"Belgian review of Jonah"

February 2001


"This in short, is reggae for the experienced, with all respect to those who don't want to look further than riddims and reality lyrics... Perhaps Sting is the right reference - like him, Jason Wilson dares to join reggae rhythms with jazz vibes and pop influences...
according to me this CD should get better with the years." - ROCKERS REGGAEZINE

"Soundscape review of Jonah"

"Wilson has spared nothing in creating exactly the sound he wants for every track, despite the fact that he plays every instrument available in the live shows, he still has assembled a rather large list of guest musicians... Jonah rarely loses its undeniable reggae beat, but Wilson and Tabarruk take that rhythm to places it has never been, occasionally breaking away from the bouncy reggae tempo but always returning to it... Wilson is an incredible musician, and this is clear to anyone who saw him play live this summer, even if they don’t like reggae... each song sounds painstakingly crafted and produced into a piece of striking contemporary reggae."

Daddeey Scad - Daddeey Scad [Sept. 2000]

"Jamaican review of Jonah"

Jason Wilson & Tabarruk - Jonah

"THE MUSIC IS WILD. It was beyond what I had expected. This album, if given the right push will be a classic. It is a pity that Jamaican radio is so backward. I played three tracks on Sunday at the beach and my mature listeners were impressed... IT IS SO SAD THAT OUR RADIO IS CAUGHT UP IN THE SEX/VIOLENCE TRIP. [Jonah] is so refreshing that last night I put it in my Walkman and climbed a tree and took in the sunset in a bliss."

Howard Hendricks - Excess Weekly/Jamaica - Howard Hendricks - Excess Weekly/Jamaica [2000]

"EYE magazine interview w/ Jason Wilson"

Rastaman variations
We've still got 30 days to go, but the pasty white thighs strolling down Queen Street say it all: summer's here! Time to throw your Shaggy Boombastic CD in the boombox, hit repeat and don't touch until September 21.

But then, summer is also the time when the sky takes on an ominous orange/brown hue, your healthy skin becomes a spawning ground for tumors and -- most treacherous of all -- you have to camp out overnight for a patio table at the Riv.

Few people devote as much time shedding light on the not-so bright side of life as Jason Wilson, whose band of reggae soul-diers, Tabarruk, heralds the imminent season of post-Seinfeld malaise with their ambitious second album, the appropriately titled Dark Corners. But Wilson's discontent is justified; though he's not exactly the rasta answer to Nick Cave, Wilson has spent the past nine tour-intensive years confronting such unpleasantries as chain-wielding club owners and drunken wedding crowds, and he's looked on helplessly as reggae's political roots have been watered down into Club Med commercial soundtracks and Homegrown Hydroponics marketing opportunities on Q-107.

"The major bone I have to pick with the media and its portrayal of reggae," Wilson proclaims, "is that it's this mystical rastafarian music, and it's not. It was a folk music to start with."

Not that Wilson is a purist by any means. In its 50 highly conceptual minutes, Dark Corners packs in orchestral passages and dub poetry as well as lyrical references to the New Testament, Joseph Conrad, William Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward and the ancient Greek myth of Icarus, all while riding deceptively upbeat ragga riddums. "Migrants," for one, shimmers with "Message to You Rudy" horn-powered giddiness, to the point where you almost forget Wilson is singing about massacre in Rwanda. (Mr. Boombastic he is not.) And let us not forget the cover of Bryan Ferry's "Slave to Love," a far more successful rastafication of an AOR classic than Big Mountain's infamous resurrection of Peter Frampton's "Baby I Love Your Way."

"You're always moving and learning and fucking up," says Wilson of Dark Corners' conceptual bent. "It actually happened accidentally. We demoed about 30 songs, and it just sort of appeared that, 'Hey, a lot of these songs have got to do with books.'

"You'll notice there's not a lot of boy-meets-girl on this album," he continues. "And even the one love song, 'Slave to Love', is more about the obsession of love than love itself. Like, if you see 9 1/2 Weeks, it's a really sexy kind of thing, but it's a real sad kind of thing, too -- you get the idea by the end of it that these people aren't doing it by choice, it's more by addiction or obsession. It sort of fit the album in that sense: just needing too much of something. And I think we've all been there, whether it's love, drugs, Oprah Winfrey shows... There's a lot to say about screwing up and starting over again, and I hope we've done [the album] so that somebody doesn't say, 'Wow, he's trying to make everybody see how many books he's read.' I don't want to come off as pretentious."

Wilson may have to work a little harder at shaking off the bookworm tag, as Tabarruk will soon embark on a cross-Canada tour of, um, Chapters bookstores. But this late in the game, it will take a lot more to faze Wilson than an audience of oblivious latté-swilling spectators on a brief respite before scurrying their way to the Self-Help section. While Tabarruk has spent the past decade converting club-goers one gig at a time, Wilson has seen fame (however fleeting) foisted upon many of his onetime collaborators and tourmates -- a veritable Mondo Canuck chapter that includes Amanda Marshall, Big Sugar, Leahy, Bass Is Base and Jeff Healey, not to mention a post-hairspray Alanis, who dueted with Wilson on Tabarruk's 1994 debut before revealing to the world her last name and how far she'll go on a first date.

- Eye Magazine - May 1998

"Dutch review of Jonah"

Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

'Jonah' is the third album from the Canadian based band Jason Wilson & Tabarruk'. The band was founded in 1989 by Jason Wilson. They released their first album 'Tabarruk' in 1994 and included special guest Alanis Morissette who sang on 'I Have faith'. Since then the band has shared the stage with lots of reggae artists like Burning Spear, Culture, Pato Banton, Judy Mowatt, Frankie Paul and Jackie Mittoo. Their follow up album, the critically acclaimed 'Dark Corners' set was released in 1998. This second release was supported by an extensive tour through Canada and The United States. The recording sessions for 'Jonah' started in October 1999 with co-producers Jeffrey Holdip. UB40 keyboard player Michael Virtue (Jason's cousin) appears on 4 tracks.
The music of the band is quite hard to describe. The reggae beat is all around, but the influences heard here are many. A violin, sound samples, jazz, a UB 40 cover (Sardonicus) are some of the ingredients of their music. Somehow their sound reminds us of Steely Dan inna reggae style. The innovative arrangements and mature vocal delivery of Jason Wilson give the album a very sophisticated feel. Jason Wilson is a very talented songwriter and a gifted musician, whose lyrical outings are very interesting. He describes us as 'Jonah, finding faith in the whale' in Wicked Shall Weep, the highlight of the album. On Kalypso he takes us back to the Greek classics. Described as a reggae-jazz-dub experience The Africville Seasides is a track of timeless beauty. Forgiveness is an uptempo reggae tune, whilst You Are The Reason To Believe is a strong lovers tune. Seckle is a pop influenced track about artificial faith and finding yourself in the wrong place. One of our favorite tunes here is Almost There, a song about faith in oneself and hope for the future.
'Jonah' is a striking album, filled with distinctive songs across a reggae beat.
Teacher & Mr. T.

- Reggae Vibes review of Jonah


dREaD & BLUE: a Canadiana Suite - 2004
Dark Corners - 1998
Tabarruk (self-titled) 1994


Feeling a bit camera shy


As leader of the internationally-acclaimed progressive reggae act Tabarruk, JASON WILSON has been pegged by the Canadian media as a “reggae-visionary” and the “future of reggae”. Nominated for a Juno Award for Best Reggae Recording, Wilson has recorded and performed with some of the world’s biggest reggae acts including; UB40, Jackie Mittoo, Ernest Ranglin and many more. Wilson has made a profound impact on Canada’s reggae scene in the past fifteen years and with Tabarruk, has performed over 2,000 shows in six different countries. Yet, Wilson has also worked outside the reggae world including collaborations with Alanis Morissette, Percy Sledge, the Mighty Sparrow and Amanda Marshall. After feature documentaries on CBC Television in Canada and BBC radio in England, this Toronto-born Scottish-Canadian is only now being recognized for his role as a reggae ambassador.

- Wilson & co. are in the studio recording their fifth album - an album that will include special guests: UB40's Michael Virtue, Aswad founder Brinsley Forde, Jamaican jazz-reggae virtuoso Ernest Ranglin and one of the last recordings of the grandfather of modern-reggae Jackie Mittoo
- In August, Leslie Wasserman's 12 minute documentary-featurette aired on CBC's The NATIONAL confirming that the nation has begun to take notice of Jason Wilson and Tabarruk
- Various songs from dREaD & BLUE have received COMMERCIAL AIRPLAY nationally and internationally - with many features and adds
- dREaD & BLUE charted on many Canadian campus radio stations, in jazz, reggae and overall charts
- "Keele Street", the first track on dREaD & BLUE is featured in 'Devotion' - the first FEATURE FILM by award winning writer/director Dawn Wilkinson.

Wheel Records/Wheel Records Europe
Authorized Representative for Jason Wilson and Jason Wilson & Tabarruk
Toronto, Canada/Eindhoven, The Netherlands – Tel: (905) 417-5749

Jason Wilson & Tabarruk's management:
Endangered Species Mgmt.
4 Berachah
South Nyack, NY