yardie's reggae collection - artist page



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1964 - 1965 - Heartbeat - studio - discs: 2

The early - mid 60's were the era of Ska and the group was the Skatalites. Lloyd Knibbs (drums), LLoyd Brevett (bass), Ernest Ranglin, Jarome Hinds, Harold McKenzie (guitars), Jackie Mittoo (piano), Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso, Lester Sterling (saxophones), Johnny "Dizzy" Moore (trumpet) and Don Drummond (trombone) composed and played the greatest Ska tunes ever recorded in the world. Their story was very brief: only two years during which a hit followed the other mainly under the guide of Clement Dodd and Duke Reid. This super group was officially formed in June 1964. The drummer Lloyd Knibbs suggested the name "Satellites", but legend has that Tommy McCook suggested the name we know now. Their first public appearence was on June 27 at the Hi Hat Club in Rae Town, Kingston. The original line-up was formed by McCook, Drummond, Alphonso, Sterling, Moore, Knibb, Brevett, Mittoo and Jerry Haines (guitar). The featured three vovalists: Tony Gregory, Doreen Shaeffer and Lord Tanamo. Soon they were joyned by the Barbadian Jackie Opel. Many of these artist learned to play at the Alpha Boys school in Kingston. Clement Dood was behind the promotion of the band. The band under a different name and without McCook were already recording from 1955. The studio were Federal, opened in 1954, the RJR and JBC, opened in 1959. McCook left Jamaica in 1954 for Nassau, Bahamas, around the time when the Sound System operator Stanley Motta brought Alphonso to cut in his new studio. McCook returned to Jamaica in 1962 to play Jazz regularly. At this time Dodd was doing seriuosly and tried to convice McCook to record in a studio. The next year McCook finally recorded with some of the musicians that will later form the Skatalites. These recordings were collected inside the "Jazz Jamaica From The Workshop" Lp from (1963). Persuaded by Lloyd Knibb to joyn a new band at the end McCook accepted the offer. After the gig at the Hi Hat mentioned above, the group almost disbanded. Fortunately some disagreements were fixed and the Skatalites started to play regularly at the Bournemouth Club (East Kingston) and at the Orange Bowl (Orange Street). They also started to play all around the island and record more extensively. As with every period of the Jamaican music, the drum and the bass were the leading force of the sound, but without the horns section the Skatalites would not had been the same. But why did the Skatalies lasted such a brief amount of time? Surely by the end of 1966 the sound was changing, but one of the reasons that helped to end of the band was because Don Drummond was incarcerated after murdering his girlfriend and subsequently being brought to the Bellevue Mental Hospital in Kingston where he died in 1969. He was a unique man that was able to transform his musical visions in incredibly new sounds when working with other members of the group. This compilation provides the best example why this group is considered a milestone inside the history of Jamaican music. Their contribution to the history of jamaican music is almost incalculable. First class Ska, or to be more precise... this is Ska!

Disc 1:

1. Christine Keeler
2. Fidel Castro
3. Simmer Down
4. Alley Pang
5. Exodus
6. King Solomon
7. Eastern Standard Time
8. World's Fair
9. Two For One
10. I Should Have Known Better
11. Hot Cargo
12. Black Sunday
13. Ska La Parisienne
14. Don D Lion
15. Dick Tracy
16. Hanging Tree

Disc 2:

1. Scandal Ska
2. Occupation
3. Old Rocking Chair
4. Third Man Ska
5. Ringo's Theme Ska
6. Ringo's Theme (Version Two)
7. Nimrod
8. Woman A Come
9. Cleopatra
10. Beardsman Ska
11. Addis Ababa
12. Silver Dollar (Original Version)
13. The Vow
14. Dr. Kildare
15. Killer Diller
16. Naked City



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2001- Melodie - live - discs: 1

After 37 years (!) one could think that a group is dead or at least that once it goes back to the recording studio the final product would stink. Anything could be more wrong in the case of this powerful set. "From Paris With Love" is a perfect album. No more no less. The survivors of the original group gather together in the Davout Studio in Paris, France to deliver a live recording that will remain as one of the greatest statements from the (very) old school of Ska music. All the tracks are classics. It is incredible how the remaining original members play in this album. Their strength is absolute and the result is fifteen tracks of pure energy. Since the start it is clear that this is not a poor revival for some old bredren: "Garden Of Love" sets the mood clearly. "Glory To The Sound" keeps the vibes on the same level and after "From Russia With Love", "Ska Fort Rock" is able to conquer everybody. Things go on with the same quality for the entire album. "Lester's Mood" is played in a very slow tempo and the horns section adds a special old flavour. "Guns Of Navarone" really brings you back of forty years. The album closes with a Roots (!) version of "Rock Fort Rock". This is the best track of the album: closing your eyes you hear the wind blowing off the Palisadoes in the evening. This is that kind of album that will be appreciated by the lovers of the Jamaican music, whatever their age. More than that its jazzy mood, tipical of the best and older Ska, will catch off guard the Jazz amateurs too. Powerful.

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yardie-reggae.com - 2007