Actually as far as the "so-called" big time is concerned we started playing our brand of Cuban or Afro Caribbean Jazz, Salsa Music with Willie Colon. Our group caught the eye of Al Santiago of Alegre Records and also Jerry Masucci and Johnny Pacheco of Fania Records, the label that eventually signed the band. The group went on to record one of the all time classics, "Jazzy", on Willie Colon's first album "El Malo".

What people generally don't know is how strong a contribution Dwight made to the overall project through song composition, arrangements and performance energy in the La Dynamica Band. Johnny Pacheco, co-owner of Fania Records and its recording musical Director, arranged for Hector Lavoe to record with Willie Colón on his first album "El Malo." At that time, older musicians regarded the group as a kiddie band with a terrible sound. Héctor shared the same views but after listening to the playback of Dwight's tunes "Chonguí," and "Quimbombo plus Dwight and James' arrangement of "Jazzy," he quickly changed his opinion and started performing with the band.

Working all the dances in the greater New York area the group had the opportunity to work opposite Tito Puente, Charlie and Eddie Palmieri, Ricardo Ray, Tito Rodriguez, Ray Barretto, Joe Cuba, Kako plus Cal Tjader and many other quality Latin Jazz Salsa artists. When Dwight returned from vacation (US Army tours) the music business had made its regular trend change and the Afro American guys were out. Fania and/or Willie had decided to survive without their musical expertise so the guys moved on to other projects.

"With our army thing over", Santana was the rage. From our musical perspective it sure looked to us now that "Oye Como Va" was a big hit and John Q public wanted to know who Tito Puente was something was sure to happen. The fact Tito was the writer of that composition had to do something for the music and trickle down to improve our chances. Also the Fania All-Stars really gave the newly coined Salsa a strong push for the recognition the music needed.

Members of Hai Rezolution who performed with the Jungle Rat

Dwight Brewster Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals

James Taylor Vocals/Perc

Since the group has decided to get back together their not sitting still. By Working together they have gathered all the necessary elements in revamping their production, marketing, and promotion techniques with Hai Rezolution. This group has as its members a wide spectrum of international artists who specialize in Afro Cuban-Caribbean Jazz.....

Featured Artist with Hai Rezolution

On Television in Panama

Sherry Scott
However, we couldn't get arrested playing Salsa, after Fania Records made it abundantly clear they didn't want us. For that matter no promoter seemed to want some non-Spanish speaking African Americans playing Salsa. So we changed our music to Afro Caribbean Jazz and our name to the Jungle Rat really as a gag! Just something to do we hoped would bring attention to our brand of music. But as things happen we got hired to do a gig in Panama to replace "Kool and the Gang." Boom just like that we needed a logo, record products, promotional materials. Those promo guys down there even painted their new logo for us on our bass drum! You know what that means; we were now "officially" The Jungle Rat!
Sherry attributes her Jazz styling to Lorez Alexander and the late Betty Carter. Her musical associations with Hugh Masekela, Mongo Santamaria, the late Leon Thomas as well as Pharaoh Sanders have added original and creative dimensions to her performance. Perfect for the high energy sound of Hai Rezolution. Sherry performed as the original female vocalist with "Earth Wind and Fire." Her vocal styling helped to create a sound and image that influenced not only other con-temporary groups but the record industry as well.

More info CLICK HERE

"We've been on the same stage with Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Mongo Santimaaria, Joe Cuba and Cal Tjader as well as Miles Davis, Marcus Miller, Ben E. King, Norman Connors, Main Ingredient, and Luther Vandross to name a few"

Through their travels throughout the western hemisphere the JungleRat had many opportunities to exhibit their unique brand of Afro - Latin - Carib - Funk - Rock - Jazz music

The Band's polar bear shot
From Maine to South America without a record deal. "We needed product to promote our act so we formed our own record company, pressed our own records and sold them at the gigs, fairs, hotels, airports and anywhere we found people!". We would like to think we had something to so with the "Rap" revolution. "When we were in the states we told every musician and rapper we came in contact with that we were doing the "out of the trunk thing" in South America! (Dwight 1999)

Sterling Sax
This group was a most interesting experience. From the Peppermint Lounge in New York to a house in Panama City, Panama we played it all. doing our brand of Afro Caribbean Jazz. One of the many adventures we experienced comes to mind occurred in Honduras. You think your band has problems, check this one out.
The Jungle Rat was the first musical unit the core members had an opportunity to exercise a new found vision outside of the United States. During this era most music artists had no idea what was happening. Traveling the entire western hemisphere the members of the "Rat" learned first hand what could be.

Original Jungle Rat Members


Dwight Brewster -- Keyboards, Vocals, Percussion
James Taylor -- Bass, Vocals, Trombone
Tom Murray -- Guitar, Vocals
Skip Greene -- Drums
Robert "Gill" Gilliam -- Percussion
Quentin Louther -- Trumpet
James "Brock" Brockington -- Reeds

Original Jungle Rat Support Team

Arcadio Camona -- Finance Support
Graham Benskin -- Manager
Clifford "Tinky" Freeman -- Sound, Lights, and everything else except Road Manager: Robert "Bobby Joe" Mcall

The Band
We agreed to perform in concert with the Honduras government as our partners. Our feeling at the time was this was a sure deal since the government agreed to bottom line the outdoor concert series. After the first date everything went smoothly, they made money and we made money. So lets "try it again" was the general consensus. On the second date it rained cats and dogs so we had a poor turnout. The army had loaned us a truck and manpower to move our extensive sound and musical equipment.
However, this time instead of taking our equipment back to the compound where we were staying they took it to a fort! It looked to us like they intended to keep our equipment and because of poor marketing on their part (no rain date) somebody had to pay. Hell, we were stuck. Our management team would have had our heads for sure losing $75,000 (1970's dollars) worth of equipment. We needed a plan.
From our time spent in Central America we found o
ut first hand how strong the musical connections were between Brazil, the Guiana's, Venezuela, Colombia, the northern part of coastal Ecuador and Panama
.

Like to check us out : Click Here!
It's many years later so this can come out. Two of us were in the Vietnam era Army and had strong skills. We broke into the compound and stole our own equipment and shipped it to Miami. When the army came to our compound looking for our stuff (with guns drawn) we accosted them for loosing our equipment! That caught them by suprise so they didn't have a clue, they thought that these brothers must be really crazy. If we didn't have the equipment who did, where was it at? Helicopters, trucks, jeeps combed the countryside in search of the missing musical equipment. Looking back on the whole affair, we were really under house arrest and could have bought the farm, you know movie title, "Dissapeared in Central America."
One of the main reasons we returned to the Afro Caribbean Jazz Music scene is the status of world music today. It has become a REAL world wide phenomenon.

No one group in New York, Miami, Cuba, Paris or where ever can really control world music anymore, it's too big for that. With the assistance of the Internet you now have a chance to see and hear music that is truly different but still worthy of being called Tropical, Caribbean Jazz Sounds.

After a few days we were summoned to their Washington (Tegucigalpa) to see the head man in charge of all this.
Mp3 clips of our performances are available, from time to time click HERE!
We never made it, the group took a vote and agreed to follow our equipment to Miami. They never figured it out, a couple of key "dash payments" and we were gone! Just one of the many reasons why The JungleRat was a great and resourceful group of guys who played an eclectic brand of "Afro Caribbean Jazz", an "all world music."
TRUE STORY
We never got an American Record Deal.
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