The Skatalites

I write this on a lazy Sunday afternoon, enjoying the perfect weather central Florida has at the moment; 84°and 60% humidity, perfect for sitting on the porch and listening to music, and generally taking it easy…
The kidney/ laser surgery I had last Monday has put me down and totally disrupted my routine, essentially putting everything in my life on hold until the good doctor removes the stint tomorrow (Monday, I write ahead of time).
For those who don’t know what I am talking about when I refer to the “stint”, just count yourself lucky, this is a blog about music, not the brutal things doctors do with garden hoses and a man’s pecker-hole under the guise of “healing”.
Anyway, gory details aside I was browsing through YouTube looking for something to write about and somehow ended up on the Skatalites and started noticing songs that I had never heard of and some also that I barely remembered at all.
So today’s post is just a conglomeration of old Skatalites songs (I don’t have the “umph” to go rooting through the internet trying to find good and authentic recordings of all these albums… I’m taking it easy for the moment, you know what I mean?)
I suppose that is it. Til tomorrow,ApogeeMatt


Prince Buster (and the Skatalites) Fly Flying Ska (1964)

The Skatalites playing the instrumentals for Prince Buster’s album… there is something deep and profound that this album reveals about the relationship between Prince Buster and Ska, and Jamaican music in general (rocksteady and reggae also).
Prince Buster has been influential but a step removed to the point that it is difficult to box his style into a genre. He is so removed from reggae that he stopped making music because the Rastafarian influences offended his Muslim beliefs… I have no idea what allure Islam could possibly have over rastafarianism, but whatevesies. He lives in Miami likely spending most of his time playing shuffle-board, as old as he is now (74).


Skatalites- Celebration Time

The Skatalites recorded Celebration Time in Studio One in the early 1960’s, I believe that it is a collection of the studios stock recordings of them released as an album at a later date.
In my search for information on this album I have uncovered some interesting facts about the Skatalites and early scene (here) and basically the only way to make a living as a musician at the time was to play in the hotel bands thus everyone knew and played with everyone else and out of this sprang two recording studios, a mobile dancehall craze swept the island and the bands playing for the solo artists were not credited or labeled at the time, so now there is a volume of “grey” recordings that one can only try and identify the individual musicians by ear (other than the singers of course). Next week I will explain in greater detail and how Bob Marley came up in this music community.

download Celebration Time

Skatalites- Treasure Isle Time

Skatalites Treasure Isle Time is the selection for today’s episode of Skatalites Thursday. Treasure Isle was Duke Reid’s record label (an early Ska and rocksteady DJ and record producer, for more see wiki). It was recorded by Isle Records without Don Drummond, so I am guessing that these are recordings from early 1965, because Drummond was jailed for the Jan. 1, 1965 murder of his girlfriend (she wouldn’t stop talking) and before the Skatalites played their last show (before splitting up temporarily) in August 1965.

dl treasure island time

Skatalites- On The Right Track (2007)

   For today’s edition of Skatalites Thursday we have On The Right Track, their latest studio album. The line-up has changed conciderably since Ska Authentic and with the deaths or retirements of all the original members except Lester Sterling. This album sounds more like Hepcat than the Skatalites but very good none the less.

DL on the right track

Skatalites- Ska Authentic

   The second edition of Skatalites Thursday, as promised Ska Authentic .
Four of the original members of the Skatalites originally meet at the Alpha Boys School in Kingston, a Catholic school with a strong focus on music whose students are among the pioneers of Ska and reggae (wiki). Those four friends playing music togather was the beginning of whole new type of music that sixty years later had spread across the globe with millions of fans and hundreds of bands.

Ska Authentic

Skatalites- Ball of Fire

   I started working on this post with a vague idea of a post about the Skatalites and a link to download… but they are such prolific artists that it seems a shame to be limited to one post one album, so this is the start of Skatalites Thursdays for a while.
The Skatalites were officially formed in 1964 in Jamaica with studio recording, release and subsequent tour supporting the Studio One album, Ska Authentic .
Ska music originated in the early 1960’s with music being performed and recorded in Jamaica rather than imported American music and recordings (some songs were cover songs popular at the time).

ball of fire