MUSIC MEN: Cliff and Armstrong in the studio.
In November, after seven years, Jimmy Cliff will put out a new EP via Collective Sounds as a pre-cursor to his next full-length studio album due out in 2012. According to a report from Music Remedy, for this currently-untitled EP Cliff has joined forces with producer Tim Armstrong, and has a recorded a cover of The Clash's seminal hit "Guns of Brixton."
"Tim has such a great foothold in the tradition. He woke me up to a lot of the things I had forgotten," says Cliff of Armstrong, a lifelong admirer of his work and a known purveyor of reggae music's lasting influence and cultural impact. "I enjoy the creative spontaneity of collaborating with other people. I always want to try new things. It's the type of creative energy I have."
The unlikely pairing has produced songs deeply rooted in the reggae tradition with their own renewed feel. On the new songs, Cliff reportedly "expands on the heritage of a genre that he was such an integral part of popularizing" while echoing his "work as a lifelong activist and purveyor of social justice - addressing issues such as war, economical instability, and political hypocrisy."
At 63, Cliff, world-famous for the classics "The Harder They Come" and "Many Rivers To Cross," has obviously not lost his musical mojo, holding fast to his passion and creativity. "This is another step in the journey which I am enjoying very much," says Cliff. "These songs are about the sacred fire inside of me. As an artist and activist, I feel I have more to accomplish. The fire is still there."