Jamaican Observer Review 06 Nov 2013
LUCIANO, looking to rebuild his career after some personal challenges, is scheduled to release his 20th album, The Qabalah Man, this month.
The 14-song set is his fourth album in less than three years. It will be released November 29 by VPAL Records, a subsidiary of VP Records. United States of Africa, Write My Name and Rub A Dub Market are the previous albums Luciano released, results of a hectic period of recording. Last week, before heading out for shows in Canada, he said he is not concerned about overexposure.
"What the people need is spirituality through positive messages and that's what Luciano and reggae is all about," Luciano said.
Four of the songs on The Qabalah Man are collaborations. On Create Our History, the set's lead track, Luciano teams up with Bob Andy; he jams with pioneer deejay U Roy and singer Ziggi Recado on Organise and with singer Mark Wonder for So Long.
While satisfied with all the songs, Luciano, 49, believes Create Our History is a special project.
"Working with Bob Andy was a great opportunity. It is always an honour to record songs with great artistes," he said.
Most of the songs on The Qabalah Man were produced by Anthony Senior, the man behind singer Junior Kelly's latest album, Piece Of The Pie. Luciano and veteran engineer/producer Cedrica 'Soljie' Hamilton also worked as producers. With this flood of albums, Luciano has been busy on the road. He toured the United States in June and July and plans another extensive trek of that country in early 2014 to promote The Qabalah Man.
He was unable to travel to the US for almost three years after his visa was cancelled. Without giving details about his temporary 'ban', Luciano admits a March, 2009 incident in which a wanted man was killed at his St Andrew home, blemished his image as a spiritual leader.
"It took me some time to clear my name so that wasn't helpful, but anyone who has followed my career know that I have a clean record. All I can say is, I learned from the experience."
The wanted man, Mark Senior aka Conqueror, was killed by police in an early morning shoot-out. Three cops were injured during the firefight, which took place at Westminster Road.
Luciano was hit with several charges including harbouring a fugitive, but was cleared of all in March, 2011.
Prior to the violent exchange, Luciano was regarded as the shepherd of roots reggae. The Manchester-born artiste had released a series of strong productions since the mid-1990s including Where There Is Life, a hit-laden album that included the anthems Lord Give Me Strength and It's Me Again Jah.
The self-proclaimed Messenger rubbed shoulders with high-profile figures like Nation Of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government in 2007.
Despite the negative episode four years ago, Luciano credits a strong catalogue for keeping him on the road.
"I have so many hits and that's what really keeps me going. We plan to be out there for years to come, just like Toots and those great artistes," he said.