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

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; JIMMY CLIFF INTERVIEWED: The outsider

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; JIMMY CLIFF INTERVIEWED: The outsider

Jimmy Cliff – who cut such classic reggae singles as The Harder They Come, Many Rivers to Cross and You Can Get It If You Really Want It back in the Sixties and Seventies – says he... > Read more

BOB MARLEY; RASTAMAN VIBRATION RECONSIDERED: The legacy is music and the message

BOB MARLEY; RASTAMAN VIBRATION RECONSIDERED: The legacy is music and the message

The bassist with Hamilton reggae band Katchafire, Ara Adams-Tamatea, said it: "You go to parties now and they are still playing the same '70s Bob albums 20 and 30 years later. Why is that?... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Oumou Sangare

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Oumou Sangare

One of the most powerful and expressive voices out of her homeland of Mali -- indeed, out of the African continent -- Oumou Sangare has been a longtime Elsewhere favourite . . . although we... > Read more

GUEST WRITER MARK ROSE dices with death for dinner

GUEST WRITER MARK ROSE dices with death for dinner

I have lived through my first (and possibly last) Fugu experience. I managed to book two months in advance at Usukifugu Yamadaya, a famous three Michelin stars Fugu restaurant close to... > Read more