The Rotterdam Ska Jazz Foundation celebrated the release of their album "Shake Your Foundation" on Germany's Grover Records with a free party at Rotterdam's Waterfront. They had asked the Jamaican Jukebox as their deejays and thus gave the audience the treat of a fine session of authentic Jamaican ska tunes. There was an on-site Grover Records / Moskito Mailorder shop, and already before the Jamaican Jukebox had finished their set, the Waterfront was packed to the extent of people showing up at the doors no longer allowed entrance.

The Rotterdam Ska Jazz Foundation got a warm welcome when they finally entered the stage to burst into some stomping ska. Playing some nice instrumentals, and tracks from their just released debut album, that was reviewed recently here like "Pro Teba a.k.a. Slaviska" an original tune written by sax - and clarinet - player Sybren Bijleveld, with an almost Klezmer feeling and their cover of Ronald Wilson's "Lonely Man", an incredibly powerful and driving horn lead ska track. They played a horror-ska track, that had featured Frank van der Velden's tenor sax in a honking, squeeking free-jazz role, and the great jazz covers from "Shake Your Foundation" "The Sidewinder" and "Night In Tunesia". Following with a variation on The Selecter's James Bond "The Killer" tune with vocals by Ska-D-Lite singer Frank 'D-Lite' Diemel, who also sang Jackie Opel's "Old Rocking Chair". The RSJ Foundation's instrumental star, trombone player Arjen Bijleveld led the band through the song featured most on compilations and gaining most airplay so far "Snake Tie". Followed by a tune unknown to me, I assume called "Trinidad", the traditional arranged track "Dreyfuss Is Gone" was played after a funny narrative introduction about a little frog who got lost, and was gone now.

Frank 'D-Lite' Diemel starred once more vocally alongside this top notch band in the track he co-wrote for the album "Road To Kingston". The Rotterdam Ska Jazz Foundation ended their 80 minutes performance showing they have a bright future with strong concerts supporting their release by playing the very appropriate titled "This Is The Nite". If you want to know more about them, check their website by clicking here. As they were coming back for their well deserved encore, I had to leave for my car that would be taking me in these 3 days 1000 kilometres, knowing I had a full day's work to get done, before attending two other nights of Jamaican music that would have me driving all that distance. An impression of what happened the next night at the Official Holland Reggae Sound Clash can be found in the news section of this website under the header "WHAT A CONTROVERSY! SOUNDCLASH IMPRESSION : OFFICIAL HOLLAND REGGAE SOUND CLASH 2003.".

Text & Photos : Souljah

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