Here we go back to a good ol' reggae tune, with a cheerful and upbeat melody. I had this tune stuck in my head during my last five-mile run, the other day, and it made for a pleasant jog. Yet, for the trombone solo, the harmony shifts from the I-IV progression to a I-bVII, or an F7 mixolydian mode that is closer to the minor tonalities of dub music.
Again, I can't seem to pinpoint exactly where Gordon is trying to go with his solo. There aren't any strong melodic phrases, there's no point where he hits and sustains "the note", and the recording has a fade out ending.
Maybe it's because I'm still learning about this music, but I can't define Gordon's artistic intentions through his solo playing.
But this isn't a bad thing. What I'm trying to emphasize is the intangible element that can't be captured or documented. In this case, some of Gordon's rhythms were a huge pain to try to notate. Not only were there syncopated divisions of the beat, but Gordon has a relaxed sense of pulse where the rhythms don't necessarily fall on the beat. How do you notate this correctly? It's a feeling, it's a way of digesting the music that can't be taught. It must be experienced directly. It's life.
Here's a YouTube video of Vin Gordon playing with the Jamaican All-Stars. Notice during his solo that he goes a little spacey when the band drops out, and then he still can swing with the groove comes back in.
Recommended Reading: Travels With My Trombone: A Caribbean Journey by Henry Shukman. Published by Crown Publishers, Inc. (This may be out of print)