The passing on Wednesday of Robbie Shakespeare, just one 50 percent of Jamaica’s internationally well known Riddim Twins, Sly and Robbie, has left the audio field in a sombre mood. The 68-year-outdated famous bass player had been ailing from kidney-relevant difficulties, which include a rejected organ. He died in Florida, wherever he experienced been living for a handful of decades.
Top the tributes to the Grammy award-winning Shakespeare was Minister of Culture, Gender Enjoyment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange.
“I am in shock and sorrow soon after just receiving the news that my friend and brother, the legendary bassist Robbie Shakespeare has died. Robbie and Sly Dunbar, the drummer, as Sly and Robbie, have been among the Jamaica’s finest musicians. This excellent team took bass taking part in and drumming to the optimum stage as they created songs for on their own as a team and for a lot of other artistes locally and internationally. Robbie’s reduction will be severely felt by the market at house and abroad. He will be sorely skipped. My condolences to all those he leaves powering. Like you, Robbie,” Grange said in a press release.
For Jackie Jackson, an awesome bass participant and a single of those bassists who Shakespeare said had encouraged him, Tuesday was “a pretty sad day”. He described Robbie Shakespeare as “the consummate bass player” and got all psyched as he reminisced on the “wickedest bass line” he experienced at any time heard him play.
“Yuh at any time hear to the bassline in Baltimore by the Tamlins?” he asked, without waiting for an response. “When I heard that for the very first time, I seh ‘Rhatid, Robbie a perform!’ The bass siddung. It built a assertion. It lifted the song. Is like the bass by itself have the music on its shoulders,” Jackson enthused.
He famous that he was happy to have been an inspiration for Shakespeare and similarly happy to have recognized him. “Condolences to Robbie’s relatives and, of program, to Sly. When the Lord calls, you have to be all set. But that Baltimore bass line … ,” he additional.
1 of reggae music’s most famed keyboardists, Robbie Lyn, worked intently with the duo Sly and Robbie for a lot of several years, and he was among those who have been conscious of the extent of Shakespeare’s illness.
“For the final few many years, Robbie lived in Florida and only came to Jamaica to get the job done on a undertaking and would leave immediately after. The past time I spoke to him was December final 12 months, and he was on the dialysis device, and as predicted, didn’t seem much too good. I know that he has been in and out of [the] hospital and was under professional medical supervision. He was diabetic and taken care of himself with insulin for years,” Lyn advised The Gleaner.
He associated that just prior to COVID, Shakespeare had to bow out of a collection of live shows dubbed Sly and Robbie that includes Mykal Rose. “They nevertheless utilised the identify, but Robbie did not enjoy. He had been heading via it. He experienced a rejected organ earlier this calendar year, and that just accelerated points. Sly did not talk about Robbie’s illness at all. When any person request about Robbie, Sly would solution in 4 terms. I heard about his passing when I got the phone from Dean [Fraser], who is in Florida. Sly and Robbie completed so significantly and are in demand from customers internationally. This is a great loss,” Lyn mentioned.
Dean Fraser, who was in the studio with reggae icon Jimmy Cliff, advised The Gleaner that it was “a tough day”.
“This is the end of a actual chapter in our music. We will under no circumstances have a different Sly and Robbie. He was one particular of the finest all-natural musicians I have at any time recognised. The talent and musicianship that Robbie loaned to [the] reggae audio organization is outside of evaluate. Robbie was a true legend,” the saxophonist extraordinaire declared.
Ska, rocksteady, reggae, and soul musician and multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Cliff also stopped his studio time to pay tribute to Robbie Shakespeare.
“Robbie definitely manufactured a enormous impact on the tunes, and as a duet, Sly and Robbie produced a enormous contribution. His passing is a big loss, but he has performed his function, and he did it to the max. We will miss out on him emotionally, but his soul is gone to a better area, and we will send out him on with love. Condolences to his loved ones,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee explained.