What a Wonderful World
Released: 19 January 2023
Following the release last year of her excellent reggae version of ‘As Tears Go By’, Sunday Best Recordings are pleased to announce the release of the fifth Rhoda Dakar single, ‘What A Wonderful World’.
Originally recorded by Louis Armstrong – a friend of Rhoda’s father from his time spent working as a jazz musician in Paris during the 1920s and ‘30s – ‘What A Wonderful World’ was written by future John Coltrane producer and Flying Dutchman records founder Bob Thiele (as ‘George Douglas’) and David Weiss.
When choosing songs to record, Rhoda came across a remixed reggae version of the original version. Unimpressed, yet somewhat daunted by the prospect of tackling such an iconic song, the idea however grew on Rhoda and, never one to avoid a little bit of cheese, or a little bit of camp, she dived straight in.
The result is three and a half minutes of outstanding reggae, with one of Rhoda’s best ever vocal performances – a plaintive and moving tribute to the original version and her family connection to Louis Armstrong.
As with Rhoda’s previous four Sunday Best singles (the first being a cover of ‘Everyday Is Like Sunday’, the second ‘The Man Who Sold The World’, the third ‘Walking After Midnight’, the fourth ‘As Tears Go By’), Rhoda and her band recreate the classic sound of early Jamaican reggae. The song was recorded at Perry Vale Studios in London and produced by guitarist Lenny Bignell, who has worked with almost every legacy Reggae artist. They were accompanied by bassist Andi McLean, drummer Marley Drummond, pianist Roger Rivas*, Trumpeter Evan Clegg and Trombonist Trevor Edwards.
*Roger (Reggae Rog) appears from Rivas Studios (California), courtesy of the world wide web.
Rhoda on recording ‘What a Wonderful World’:
“Like anyone else of my vintage, Louis Armstrong’s benevolent delivery and beaming smile were ubiquitous. He was loved in my childhood home, especially by my mum. My dad took her to see him in London before I was born. She didn’t believe him when he said he’d take her backstage. She was proved wrong.”
‘What A Wonderful World’ is the final in a series of five 7” singles all mastered by dubstep pioneer Jason Goz at Transition Mastering – each b/w dub versions – which will be released from now up until Rhoda’s new album early next year. Each sleeve will be exclusively designed by renowned Sheffield artist Pete McKee.