Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Pop Capsules

Itals at Music Machine: Pushing Too Hard

February 19, 1990|DON SNOWDEN

The Itals stood conventional roots reggae wisdom on its head during an hourlong performance at the Music Machine on Friday. Reggae is often criticized for being too laid back, but the Jamaican vocal trio's harmonizing was more edgy and shrill than the smooth, rounded singing offered by, say, the Mighty Diamonds. The difference was exciting at first but gradually became grating, but the Itals made a dramatic comeback during an encore that lasted as long as the set proper.

There, the group didn't push the singing at the audience so relentlessly, the fuller, deeper singing of Ronnie Davis took the lead from Keith Porter on a couple of numbers (particularly a great snippet of the Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"), and the eight-piece band borrowed from second-billed Ras Michael grew more accustomed to backing the Itals.

In his opening set, Ras Michael's use of Nyabinghi drumming (the "heartbeat" rhythm early reggae drew from Rastafarian devotional music) and Arabic-tinged melodies was unusual enough to overcome some ragged stretches.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|