Album review
Something Special : Ska Hot Shots
Roland Alphonso

Tracking list

  1. Four Corners (aka Four Corners of the World)
  2. From Russia with Love
  3. Dr. Ring Ding
  4. Jack Ruby
  5. El Pussy Cat Ska
  6. Federal Special
  7. Do It Good
  8. Jah Shakey (AKA Jack Steady)
  9. Pepe To
  10. You Trouble Me
  11. Rollie Pollie
  12. Proof Rum
  13. James Bond
  14. Provocation
  15. Grand National
  16. Hully Gully Rock
  17. Something Special
  18. Rolando Special
  19. Groovy Sax
  20. Maria Elena
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

This brand new HeartBeat/Studio One compilation collects many of the top hits of the Ska era - songs that made Roland Alphonso and the Skatalites international stars - as well as many of Roland's signature songs like Four Corners. With material ranging from the inception of Studio One and covering a ten year period, you will find here twenty classic tunes, some released here for the first time on compact disc and digitally remastered from the original Studio One tapes. Before Roland Alphonso and Studio One, there was "no" Jamaican music. Roland's saxophone sounds shaped Jamaican music at its "Boogie Shuffle" inception, and into and through Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae. He was the top arranger at Studio One, and coached the hit groups of the day, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, as well as being one of the lead tenors of the legendary Skatalites.
As said before, the album consists of a varied set of tunes. Some of Roland Alphonso's best known song are present on the album : from 1968 comes the great Jah Shakey, the adapted James Bond theme, James Bond and El Pussy Cat Ska from 1965. Besides that Alphonso's fans and also the fans of the first ska wave will be delighted to find some previously unreleased ska gems on this album. Probably a lot of tunes are well known to the ska fan, but with the addition of exclusive photos and detailed notes, this is a fitting and definitive tribute to one of Jamaica's legends, Roland Alphonso O.D., Chief Musician.
Players of instruments :
Rolando Alphonso, tenor and alto saxophones
Tommy McCook, tenor saxophone
Lester Sterling , alto saxophone
Dennis "Ska" Campbell, tenor and baritone saxophones
Karl McLacklin, tenor saxophone
"Deadly" Headley Bennett, alto saxophone
Karl Bryan, alto saxophone
Sam Wells, baritone sax
Johnny "Dizzy" Moore, trumpet
Bobby Ellis, trumpet
Emmanuel "Rico" Rodriquez, trombone
Lloyd Knibb, drums
Ken Williams, drums
Hector "Bunny" Williams, drums
Joe Isaacs, drums
Lowell Morris, drums
Aston "Wackie" Henry, drums
Lloyd Robinson, drums
Lloyd Brevett, bass
Cluett Johnson, bass
Bryan Atkinson, bass
Fred Crossley, bass
"Jah" Jerry Haynes, guitar
Dennis Sindrey, guitar
Ken Richards, guitar
Ernest Ranglin, guitar
Nearlin "Lyn" Taitt, guitar
Errol Walters, guitar
Dwight A. Pinkney, guitar
Wallin Cameron, guitar
Aubrey Adams, organ and piano
Cecil Lloyd, organ and piano
Herman Sang, piano
Donat Roy "Jackie" Mittoo, piano and organ
Clement Dodd, vocals, handclaps and percussion
Rita Marley, vocals
Lee Perry, vocal percussion
Noel G. "King Sporty" Williams, vocal percussion

Teacher & Mr. T.