Tag Archives: The Skatalites

Ska galore

foundationska_cover_sm_2The Skatalites brought the sound of Jamaica to the world. From the early 60s up until the mid-60s this outfit – with legendary instrumentalists such as Don Drummond, Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso, Jackie Mittoo and Ernest Ranglin – defined ska and the new and exciting sound of young Jamaica.

The Skatalites played on thousands of recordings during their relatively short-lived period. They recorded as a group, as individual musicians and as backing band for a variety of singers, including The Wailers, Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis and a truckload of others.dondrummond_doncosmic_cover_sm_2

Many of their own recordings have been well-compiled over the years, but they have recently been highlighted once again with three new compilations – one coming from UK’s Soul Jazz and two coming from Studio One Records and Yep Roc Records in the U.S.

These albums – Foundation Ska, Don Cosmic and Independence Ska and The Far East Sound – Original Ska Sounds From The Skatalites 1963-65 – collect mostly instrumentals released as a collective or as individual performers.

unnamedThese three albums bring together aspects of jazz, latin, R&B and to some extent nyabinghi. It’s intense with a heavy dose of energy and complexity. Check classic such as Guns of Navarone, El Pussy Cat Ska and Simmer Down with The Wailers.

This is a history lesson and showcases The Skatalites unrivaled position in the history of reggae music.

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A driving album full of fun

JMM_takeyourflightFrench nine piece band Jim Murple Memorial has been together in various constellations for 17 years and has recently released their ninth official studio album Take Your Flight, Jim!, collecting 16 tracks aimed a starting any party around the globe.

Their sound is a melting pot of ska, rocksteady, calypso, boogaloo and Jamaican and American R&B. They’ve might have listened to an equal amount of Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Willie Colón, The Skatalites, Slim Smith and Laurel Aitken.

It’s fun, passionate and soulful and unless Tony Soprano has put your feet in wet concrete, you’re guaranteed to at least tap your toes to this full and swinging sound with upright bass, shuffling piano, funky organ, rampant horns and cheerful, but also mild at times, vocals courtesy of no less than five lead singers, who mostly sing in English.

Included are also a number of explosive and catchy instrumentals, where the musicians present their respective skills in a party-styled fashion.

Take Your Flight, Jim! is currently only available via the band’s website and over there you decide the price yourself.

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The Skatalites mer än bara ska

skatalites_coxson_2nd_from_leftFå grupper har betytt mer för den jamaicanska musiken än 60-talsikonerna The Skatalites. Kvartetten Jackie Mittoo, Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso och framlidne Don Drummond satte på egen hand ska-musiken på kartan. Men The Skatalites är mer än stompig ska, det visar tre plattor från insomnade Motion Records.

Supergruppen The Skatalites har beskrivits som en institution snarare än ett band. De är en fulländad samling fantastiska musiker som både enskilt och gemensamt skapade odödliga klassiker som Guns of Navarone, Lawless Street och Eastern Standard Time.

Och det var just ju ska som satte gruppen på kartan. Det få vet är att The Skatalites spelat in några makalösa plattor omkring tio år efter att de gick skilda vägar 1965.

Runt mitten av 70-talet samlades nämligen stora delar av The Skatalites igen för att spela in basisten Lloyd Brevetts soloplatta African Roots.

Ungefär samtidigt träffades de även tillsammans med producenten Herman Chin Loy i hans Aquarius-studio. Resultatet blev instrumentalplattan The Legendary Skatalites som släpptes 1976. Men den här gången handlar det inte om ska, The Legendary Skatalites är roots ut i fingerspetsarna. Kanske något jazzigare än andra instrumentalplattor från samma period.

Plattan följdes av Herb Dub, Collie Dub med tunga dubversioner signerade King Tubby.

Fram till för ett par år sedan var de här plattorna endast för skivsamlare med plånböcker tjockare än Sverigesmotion_skatalites_heroes statsbudget. Men skivbolaget Motion har gjort världen en tjänst genom att ge ut plattorna The Legendary Skatalites in Dub, Herb Dub, Collie Dub och Heroes of Reggae on Dub.

The Skatalites var en samling av världens främsta musiker och det är nog ingen som någonsin skulle tvivla på att gruppen kunde spela mer än ska. Men fram till nu har det varit förhållandevis okänt att de kunde låta lika bra i dub- och roots-tappning.

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