Music: Reggae Power

It could be the name of an infectious disease, a moss lichen or a law-school seminar. Reggae (pronounced ray-gay) is the local jargon of Jamaicans distinguishing "regular" rhythm from calypso. To millions of fans, the lilting pop rock with the spicy island beat is the Caribbean's most captivating musical export since steel bands.

Enthusiasts say that it is intoxicating, detractors complain that it is monotonous. Both find it oddly difficult to describe. Paul Simon is the first white American to record reggae (Mother and Child Reunion), which he describes as having "a little New...

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