Independence Ska And The Far East Sound
SOUL JAZZ. CD/DL/LP Cracking comp of the mid-’60s ska pioneers.
CIRCA ’63-’65, Studio One house band The Skatalites pretty much invented Jamaican music, forging the definitive sound of ska across hundreds of tracks, both alone on instrumentals, and together with ‘foundation’ singers including Lord Tanamo, Jackie Opel and the early Wailers. Their golden run was only halted when trombonist Don Drummond, whose minor-key ‘Far East’ sound brought moody complexity to ska’s pulse-racing celebration of JA independence, was sectioned after murdering his wife, and the combo dissolved. The Skatalites’ most beloved bangers have been anthologised umpteen times, and there’s a handful here (El Pussy Cat Ska, Beardman Ska, Far East, the immortal Guns Of Navarone). Soul Jazz, however, breathe new life into these time-honoured hits by assembling them alongside recherché cuts such as Sudden Destruction (a rare showcase for trumpeter Dizzy Moore), and Drummond’s Coolie Boy, plus lively vocals from the raucous Bongoman Byfield.