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

TIGI NESS INTERVIEWED (2003): From street warrior to natural mystic

TIGI NESS INTERVIEWED (2003): From street warrior to natural mystic

The high-rise skyline shimmers in the summer heat beyond the faded iron roofs of Auckland's inner-city suburbs. Tigi Ness sits on the back porch of his Grey Lynn home, in the foreground a tended... > Read more

Unity Pacific: Into the Dread (Moving Productions/EMI)

Unity Pacific: Into the Dread (Moving Productions/EMI)

When the documentary about the life of Unity Pacific's singer-songwriter Tigi Ness made it to the small screen on Maori TV and the Film Festival many in the country had their introduction to a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Willie Nelson: Healing Hands of Time (1961)

Willie Nelson: Healing Hands of Time (1961)

By the time Willie Nelson laid down this demo of what is arguably one of the greatest songs of his pre-fame period, he had already written Family Bible (a top 10 country hit for Claude Gray... > Read more

Mick Jagger and me: Passing ships

Mick Jagger and me: Passing ships

It's a little known fact, but Mick Jagger and I are real tight. And that's not just me saying that. The last time I saw Jagger -- whom I call Mick, of course -- he shook my hand and said,... > Read more