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

DAMIAN MARLEY INTERVIEWED (2006): Maintaining the family standard

DAMIAN MARLEY INTERVIEWED (2006): Maintaining the family standard

The most common complaint from those who have stardom thrust upon them -- the tabloid coverage and paparazzi, the private chef serving you rather than some kid on minimum wage -- is that nothing... > Read more

Zionhill: Inside of You (Moko)

Zionhill: Inside of You (Moko)

Too many New Zealand reggae bands, once they have got the rhythm and melody down, rarely have much to say lyrically which doesn't default to soft notions about home and family, or a bunch of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Come, feel the noize: A true story from the suburbs

Come, feel the noize: A true story from the suburbs

A question: is female orgasm the satisfied whimper at the end, or the 40 minutes of moaning and groaning which my neighbour does loudly at 2am? Or at 6am. Living in a block of townhouses... > Read more

A CRITIC INTERVIEWED (2004): Putting opinion in print

A CRITIC INTERVIEWED (2004): Putting opinion in print

A decade ago I was interviewed by Trevor Reekie of National Radio as part of his series about music writing and critics. I recently found the CD of it which he gave me -- the 30 minute... > Read more