The Skatalites: Anthology (Primo/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Skatalites: Strolling In
The Skatalites: Anthology (Primo/Southbound)

This 35-track double disc pulls together essential Skatalite material alongside work that appeared under the names of some the group's members (Rolando Alphonso, Baba Brooks, Don Drummond, Tommy McCook) and is a primer on the sound of Jamaican ska in the mid Sixties.

The rhythm might be the choppy ska style but over the top you can hear the influence of big bands and New Orleans r'n'b (Yard Broom with its New Orleans swing and nod to Somewhere Over the Rainbow and even Glenn Miller, Magic with its references to Louis Jordan.)

These were jazz-influenced musicians and the loose swing feel is utterly endearing, especially when coupled with lazy tenor playing by McCook or Alphonso or Drummond's trombone.

The band only lasted little more than two years in its first incarnation -- internal tensions, lack of money, disputes with producer Clement Dodd etc -- but in that time they laid down a template for a particular style of slower and swinging ska.

This collection focuses on that period and while it misses some tracks from the period (their famous Guns of Navarone by Drummond, Trojan has an excellent collection to fill those gaps however) with 35 slices of Skatalites collected in one place you can hardly argue. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Reggae articles index

Unity Pacific: Blackbirder Dread (Moving/Rhythmethod)

Unity Pacific: Blackbirder Dread (Moving/Rhythmethod)

Reggae musician and Rastafarian Tigi Ness -- who helms this long-running band into it's third album -- is a man who walks with the past as his close companion. On Unity Pacific's debut album From... > Read more

The Specials: The Best of the Specials (EMI)

The Specials: The Best of the Specials (EMI)

Listening to this 20-track compilation (which comes with an excellent DVD of videos and film footage) reminds you just how reductive the recent ska revivalist bands have been. In the late... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Jeff Beck: Original Album Classics

THE BARGAIN BUY: Jeff Beck: Original Album Classics

Although Elsewhere stands by its belief that Jeff Beck has never made a truly great album, we'd also make the case for his Blow By Blow of '75 as being among his most truly satisfying, enjoyable... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Ramones; Anthology (Warners)

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Ramones; Anthology (Warners)

This is easy: any album which makes it into the Essential Elsewhere list is obviously recommended (for one reason or another, the list is absurdly diverse). But this one gets through on sheer... > Read more