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Bim Sherman : From Westmoreland Parish to London

Bim Sherman : From Westmoreland Parish to London

Bim Sherman : From Westmoreland Parish to London

By on - 1 comment

Flashback on the career of Bim Sherman, a major singer from the roots 'golden era'.

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Bim Sherman is a safe bet of roots reggae music. Passed away in 2000, this singer has touched many souls not only thanks to his lyrics and his original voice, but also because of the musical independence that he always kept, which is not easy as an artist. He belongs to that generation of singers who, since the 70s, has been committed to the defense of values deeply closed to rasta faith.

Born Jarrett Vincent Tomlinson in 1952 in the parish of Westmoreland in Jamaica, Bim Sherman raised with the belief that he will make music. As many Jamaican artists, he initiated himself to music going to church with his family before going to the local dancehall few years later. 

At start of the 1970’s, the young singer worked successively as an electrician and a sinner and then moved to Kingston with one of his brothers. After several attempts his first release song, 100 Year was recorded at Federal Studio in Kingston by Sid Bucknor and was released in 1975. He had already produced and distributed his first singles himself, a thirst for independence that he kept throughout his career. After various singles, his debut album Love Forever -bringing together some of his first songs- was released in 1978 on Tribes Man record. At this time, the Jamaican singer was in his twenties and already delivered ‘conscious’ roots reggae. He continued to release some singles on his own labels as Sun Dew, Scorpio - on which was released his second album Lovers Leap in 1979 - and Red Sea. That’s when the young British producer Adrian Sherwood -who had just created his On U Sound label this very same year- invited him for the Roots Encounter European Tour alongside deejay Prince Far I and drummer Valentine 'Style' Scott. 

Bim Sherman

This encounter marked the birth of a true friendship and the two men soon started to work together. At this time, Bim Sherman was dissatisfied with the working conditions offered by the producers in Jamaica and decided to settle in London. Their collaboration, which didn’t cease until Bim’s passing, took form with the album entitled Across The Read Sea produced by Adrian Sherwood in 1982. For the album Century and the followings, Bim Sherman who was still resolved to control his music created the Century label in 1984. Two years laters, he spun off RDL (Revolver Distribution Label) on which were released his productions from the late 1980’s as Haunting Ground in 1986, African Rubber Dub in 1987, Ghetto Dub and Exploitation in 1989.

He finally relaunched his Century label in 1990 and released albums, many dub versions, various compilations and reissues. He also joined the group Singers & Players - notably for the album War Of Words released in 1982 - formed by Adrian Sherwood. This collective pursued On U Sound label musical experimentations and also featured Jamaican deejays and singers as Prince Far I, Mikey Dread, Congo Ashanti Roy and British musicians as Skip McDonald, Keith Leblanc and Talvin Singh.

After several albums released in the early 1990’s that’s finally with the acoustic set Miracle recorded from India to Britain and produced by Adrian Sherwood that Bim Sherman was brought to light to audience and got a best acknowledgement. He continued then to offer some albums and compilations as the crucial Love Forever in 1999 which features his firsts Jamaican recordings.

Bim Sherman passed away from a cancer in London on 17th of November 2000.
His Century label remains productive and reissued in 2007 two compilations, Rub-A-Dub including dub versions of his debut songs recorded in Jamaica from 1975 to 1979 and The Need To Live, veritable retrospective of his collaboration with Adrian Sherwood from 1981 to 1995.
More recently, Pressure Sounds label also reissued gems of Sherman with Tribulation - Down In Jamdown (1974 - 1979), featuring early songs recorded in Jamaica and originally out as singles on his own labels.

Bim Sherman's full discography We invite you to discover his full albums discography.

Thanks to On U Sound In The Area website that helped us to complete the discography.

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Read comments (1)


Posted by Xavier on 01.13.2008
An excellent article, thank.

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