The Jamaican roots reggae vocal trio, the Meditations – Ansel Cridland, Danny Clarke and Winston Watson – recorded their first hit single Woman is Like a Shadow in 1974 at Channel One Recording Studio in Kingston Jamaica. The group made its mark and sealed their place as reggae legends with the release of their first two albums produced by Dobby Dobson – Message From the Meditations and Wake Up. Soon thereafter came their third album – Guidance – produced by Ansel Cridland.
Known internationally as one of Jamaica’s legendary harmony trios, The Meditations music and live performances have captured the hearts of music lovers worldwide. Their popularity led to a production collaboration with the legendary producer Lee Scratch Perry. Scratch, who was producing for Bob Marley And The Wailers at the time, asked the Meditations to do background vocals on Bob Marley’s song Punky Reggae Party. Bob was so pleased with their harmony work that he went in search for the group to do more backing vocals for him. He requested more harmony and background vocals on songs like Rastaman Live Up and Blackman Redemption. In fact, The Meditations’ harmonic vocals can be heard on some of your favorite Jimmy Cliff tracks such as Bongo Man , Youths Them A Cry and Mr. Cop by Gregory Isaacs.
In 1983 Linval Thompson produced The Meditations fourth album titled No More Friend. Originally this album was a solo project between Linval and Ansel Cridland. This was during the time that Ansel took a break from the band, prompted by a bad leg injury. Ansel stayed at home in Jamaica when Winston Watson and Danny Clarke immigrated to the United States where they performed and also worked on a new album called For The Good Of Man. Linval encouraged Ansel to get back in the studio and focus on a solo career but upon the completion of the album Ansel decided to release it under The Meditations. He titled the album No More Friend, which became such a major success, it prompted the trio to reunite again touring as The Meditations. This led to numerous tours throughout the United States and Europe, and the expanding of their fanbase. In 1993 they were to release another masterpiece, Return Of The Meditations, produced by Ansel Cridland on Heartbeat records. Ansel followed up this success in 1999 by sitting in the producers chair once again and producing The Meditations Ghetto Knowledge on the Easy Star Label. In 2004 he produced Stand In Love, but this time on his own label, Meditations Music, on which he has released numerous singles over the years. In 2011 Ansel collaborated with yet another great producer, Philip Smart. Together they produced an album titled Dangerous Society, which reflected the times they were living in.
The Meditations are dedicated musicians, writers, and producers who have been rocking stages and venues for more than forty years and are still touring to this day. They are part of the foundation of reggae music, some of the legends who have sculpted the Roots Rock sound with their years of contributions to the genre.
In 1978 the Meditations performed on the historical One Love Peace Concert at the request of Bob Marley. Legends like Jimmy Cliff, Sly and Robbie, Philip Smart, Willie Lindo and Gregory Isaac are a few of the people that they’ve worked with. Over the years the Meditations contributions have sculpted the sound of Roots Rock Reggae, making The Meditations a fundamental and essential part of Reggae music. When Danny Clarke and Winston Watson, the other two original members of the vocal trio were unable to continue the works due to health and legal issues, Ansel had no choice but to keep the legacy alive. He joined forces with long time keyboard player and vocalist Laury Webb who is also featured on The Good Of Man album and a third vocalist named Daddylion Chandell. This unit has been touring as The Meditations for over 10 years. A new sound with a new feel they remain true to the culture and origins of the band. Touring together the live performances have been praised by fans internationally as they continue expanding their fanbase being introduced to a new generation of music lovers. They’ve performed for many massive crowds at venues like the Red Rock Amphitheater and Reggae On The River that was first graced by The Meditations and The Itals more than twenty nine
years ago. Criss crossing the United States year after year and embarking on journeys over the waters to Europe and Africa, the Meditations have spead out their musical legacy to the people of the world. In 2010 Ansel performed for exhilarated fans at The Parker Place in Abidjan on the Ivory Coast. This big show resulted in the culmination of a great live album, titled Ansel Meditations Live In Africa. The album captured an energetic performance from the veteran Meditation, sealing a monumental moment in time.
No doubt, the Meditations are loved worldwide and the thirst for their music is stronger now than ever before. Roots Rock Reggae Lives! The Meditations Forever.