Album review
Foundation Ska
The Skatalites
Double CD

Tracking list

    Disc 1.

  1. Christine Keeler
  2. Fidel castro
  3. Simmer down (feat. The Wailers)
  4. Alley pang
  5. Exodus
  6. King Solomon
  7. Eastern standard time
  8. World's Fair (feat. Stranger Cole & Ken Boothe)
  9. Two for one
  10. I should have know 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 (feat. Jackie Opel)
  4. Third man ska
  5. Ringo's theme ska
  6. Ringo's theme (version 2)
  7. Nimrod
  8. Woman a come (feat. Margarita)
  9. Cleopatra
  10. Beardsman ska
  11. Addis Ababa
  12. Silver dollar (original version)
  13. The vow (feat. Jackie Opel & Doreen Schaffer)
  14. Dr. Kildare
  15. Killer diller
  16. Naked city
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : - Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 5

Formed in 1963, the Skatalites were the créme de la créme of Jamaica's musical talent at the time. The personnel fluctuated from time to time, but the most important instrumentalists were : Don Drummond, Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso, Johnny "Dizzy" Moore, Lester Sterling, Jackie Mittoo, Jah Jerry, Lloyd Brevett and Lloyd Knibbs.The band lasted for two years, a combination of several problems caused them to break up in late 1965.Clement Dodd persuaded Jackie Mittoo and Roland Alphonso to leave the band and form the Soul Brothers as the Studio One house band. Tommy McCook worked mainly for Duke Reid at the Treasure Isle studios, while Don Drummond took his life on May 6, 1969 in the Bellevue Hospital, Kingston. Their music was a powerful synthesis of American R&B, combined with swinging, jazzy "take off" solos, forming in the process something uniquely Jamaican - the first music to come out of the post-war colonial indepence movement of the West Indies. The Skatalites backed every singer of note in the island's studios and cut hundreds of instrumentals under various names, thus laying the foundation for today's Jamaican music.
"Foundation Ska" is a wonderful double cd set, including a 28 page booklet with very extensive sleevenotes (pics, comments etc...). The recordings on this set date from 1964/1965, the time the Skatalites were at their best. A few tracks were produced by Duke Reid at Federal Records, Kingston, while all the other tracks were recorded at Clement Dodd's Studio One studios. Anyone familiar with the work of the Skatalites will embrace this set, the final Skatalites Anthology. "You can still see the Skatalites perform today, but this set brings the picks of the past to life again. Fire hot Ska !" An historical document !

Teacher & Mr. T.