Album review
From Paris With Love
The Skatalites
Melodie-Walboomers Music
05 - 07 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Garden Of Love
  2. Glory To The Sound
  3. From Russia With Love
  4. Ska Fort Rock
  5. When I Fall In Love (featuring Doreen Shaffer)
  6. Freedom Sounds
  7. Trip To Mars
  8. Pata Pata (Skata Skata)
  9. Lester's Mood
  10. Golden Love (featuring Doreen Shaffer)
  11. African Beat
  12. River To The Bank
  13. Thinking Of You (featuring Doreen Shaffer)
  14. Guns Of Navarone
  15. Rock Fort Rock
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 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.
'From Paris With Love' is the latest release from The Skatalites and is a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Skatalites formation. The members of the band now include the original riddim twins Lloyd Knibb (drums) and Lloyd Brevett (bass), Lester Sterling on alto saxophone, Cedric (Im) Brooks on saxophone, Devon James (guitar), Ken Stewart on piano, Dizzy Moore (trumpet) and Will Clarke (trombone). Although the Skatalites are primarity an instrumental group, the album contains three superb vocal tracks by Doreen Shaffer, who sang with the band from beginning. The sessions took place in late 2001 at the Davout studios in Paris, France. Listening to these tunes one must admit that the band sounds as if they were back at the studios at Brentford Road or on Bond Street. The music found here is fresh, crisp and swinging, with quality written all over. Most of the songs are remakes of hit tunes from the past, written by the likes of Don Drummond, Tommy McCook, Lester Sterling and Derrick Morgan. The producers have managed to capture the Skatalites at their best, which is quite noteworthy, considering the age of most of the members.
Great ska and reggae set !

Teacher & Mr. T.