THE SKATALITES — Foundation Ska

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5.00 | 3 ratings | 1 review
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Boxset / Compilation · 1997


1-01 Christine Keeler 3:09
1-02 Fidel Castro 3:17
1-03 Simmer Down 2:49
1-04 Alley Pang 3:03
1-05 Exodus 2:44
1-06 King Solomon 2:52
1-07 Eastern Standard Time 2:33
1-08 World's Fair 2:33
1-09 Two For One 2:25
1-10 I Should Have Known Better 4:04
1-11 Hot Cargo 2:49
1-12 Black Sunday 2:56
1-13 Ska La Parisienne 3:03
1-14 Don D Lion 2:19
1-15 Dick Tracy 2:47
1-16 Hanging Tree 3:08
2-01 Scandal Ska 3:04
2-02 Occupation 3:01
2-03 Old Rocking Chair 3:09
2-04 Third Man Ska 2:44
2-05 Ringo's Theme Ska And 3:56
2-06 Ringo's Theme (Version Two) 3:05
2-07 Nimrod 2:45
2-08 Woman A Come 3:10
2-09 Cleopatra 2:46
2-10 Beardsman Ska 3:02
2-11 Addis Ababa 3:17
2-12 Silver Dollar (Original Version) 2:59
2-13 The Vow 2:36
2-14 Dr. Kildare 2:28
2-15 Killer Driller 2:44
2-16 Naked City 2:46


Alto Saxophone – Lester "Ska" Sterling
Bass – Lloyd Brevett
Congas – Larry McDonald
Drums – Lloyd Knibb
Guitar – Jerry Haines
Keyboards – Aubrey Adams, Cecil Lloyd, Lloyd "Richard Ace" Richards
Lead Guitar – Ernest Ranglin
Percussion – Noel "Scully" Simms
Piano, Organ – Donat Roy "Jackie" Mittoo
Producer – Duke Reid* (tracks: 1-04, 1-07, 1-14, 2-02, 2-08, 2-12)
Rhythm Guitar – Nearlin "Lyn" Taitt
Tenor Saxophone – Robert "Bobby" Gaynair , Dennis "Ska" Campbell, Roland Alphonso, Stanley Ribbs
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Tommy McCook
Trombone – Don Drummond
Trumpet – Johnny "Dizzy" Moore , Oswald F. "Baba" Brooks , Raymond Harper
Vocals – Bob Marley And The Wailers (1-03)
Piano – Lloyd "Richard Ace" Richards (1-05)
Vocals – Stranger Cole And Ken Boothe (1-08)
Drums – Henry Wackie (2-01)
Vocals – Jackie Opel (2-03,2-13)
Vocals – Margarita (2-08)
Vocals – Doreen Schaffer(2-13)

About this release

Heartbeat Records – CD HB 185/186 (US)

All tracks recorded at Jamaica Recording and Publishing, 33 Brentford Road, Kingston, Jamaica.
Tracks 1-04, 1-07, 1-14, 2-02, 2-08 & 2-12 recorded at Federal Records, Kingston, Jamaica.

Thanks to snobb for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

The original Skatalites came together in 1963 and made numerous recordings for a variety of studios for a couple of years before splitting into two separate super groups. Although they reformed in 1983, and have carried on until today in various incarnations, nothing matches the magic of their early recordings. Like other especially blessed groups, such as James Brown’s early 70s ensemble, the original Skatalites pioneered a sound all their own that can never be duplicated, and created such a special aura around their music that almost everything they recorded was pure gold.

Stories vary as to how the Skatalites first fell together, but basically most of them had all worked together before in various jazz, RnB and Jamaican music ensembles. Things really fell into place when ex-pat trumpeter Tommy McCook returned from an extended jazz gig in the Bahamas and was finally convinced to switch from jazz to ska. Although ska music had been around for a few years before the Skatalites became an official group, nobody played the new style the way they did. Designed after a 50s dance hall jazz/jump blues band, the Skatalites were a nine member group with a five man horn section backed by a rhythm quartet. Their music was a perfect blend of old school sophisticated swing jazz, rootsy RnB, spunky early jazz call and response techniques and a very swinging take on the new ska rhythm. Early jazz and true Jamaican music are both styles that possess a certain magic that is impossible to duplicate, and in combination their charms only multiply. The tunes the band draws on varies from Jamaican melodies, spy movie themes, pop tunes of the day by the Beatles etc, and truncated snippets of old bop melodies. Although the rhythms and horn charts are based in RnB and Jamaican music, the soloists seem to favor the older swinging style of Coleman Hawkins or Buck Clayton. Its this juxtaposition again of the older jazz and the island vibe.

There are many compilations out there of early Skatalites music, “Foundation Ska” centers around their earliest material recorded with Coxsone Dodd at Studio One. Other compilations worth checking out could center around their work with Treasure Isle or The Yap Brothers.

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