Album review
Carlos Malcolm And His Afro Jamaican Rhythms
Up-Beat Records/Ruff Stuff Records
17 - 01 - 2001

Tracking list

  1. Skamania
  2. Run For Cover
  3. Hunchback No. 1
  4. Tiptoe
  5. Earthman
  6. Skokian
  7. Sweetie Charlie
  8. Head Shrinker
  9. Skaramouche
  10. Hopalong Kassidy
  11. Wings Of A Dove
  12. Bonanza Ska
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 3/4 Sleeve : 5

'Ska-Mania' is a re-issue from Ska music legend Carlos Malcolm & his Afro-Jamaican Rhythms. This re-issue of 'Ska-Mania' adds a bonus track, his best known tune, Bonanza Ska, a version of the TV Western theme of the same name.
In August 2000, Carlos Malcolm was presented with the prestigious Prime Minister's Award 2000, in recognition of the many outstanding contributions he has made to the development of Jamaican music, and his musical influences upon young artists during the pivotal period, 1960 - 1965, when Jamaican Mento music was fused with the New Orleans (back-beat) Shuffle Rhythm to produce a throbbing Jamaican urbanized music called Ska.
In 1959 The Jamaican Government, preparing for Independence in 1962, established the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation, a national radio station, to develop and showcase Jamaican talent. From a cadre of writers, producers, musicians, Carlos Malcolm was contracted as arranger for the JBC 10-piece studio orchestra and co-director of a program call "The Jamaican Hit Parade". The program helped to develop the careers of many hitherto unknown artists such as Jimmy Cliff, Owen Gray Jackie Edwards, Derrick Morgan, Alton Ellis, and Joe Higgs.
Early Ska music was recorded from head-arrangements of studio musicians. Through his formal musical training, Carlos Malcolm became the first arranger to bring his pen to organized arrangements of Ska music, by transcribing the music from 7' - 45 r.p.m. dics and re-arranging it so that the JBC 10-piece band could accompany artists on the "Jamaican Hit Parade", (adapted from Dick Clark's), which was broadcast "live" from the stage of a local theatre in Kingston, JA every Friday. In 1962, Eon Production of London hired Carlos to arrange and compose original background music for the first James Bond movie, "Dr. No", which was filmed in Jamaica. In the same year, he formed his orchestra; Carlos Malcolm and His Afro-Jamaican Rhythms. The band recorded three albums on the Up-Beat and Top labels.
'Ska-Mania' was the band's second release and features ska classics like Skokian, an interpretation of an South African folk song, the explosive mento medley SkaMania, Skaramouche and the ever popular Wings Of A Dove. The latter is one of the two vocal tracks on the album, the other being SkaMania. When listening to the music one wonders why it has taken so long to put out this essential re-release. This is Ska at his 'Skatabulous Best' !

Teacher & Mr. T.