Album review
The Legendary Skatalites In Dub
The Skatalites
Motion Records
08 - 02 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Starlight Version
  2. Middle East Dub
  3. Fugitive Dub
  4. Whispering Dub
  5. Kimble Dub
  6. Roots Dub
  7. Bottom Dub
  8. African Roots Dub
  9. Dumboo Dub
  10. African Dub
  11. Herb Dub Collie Dub
  12. Candlelight Dub
  13. Starlight (featuring Tony Brevett)
  14. Middle East
  15. Sealing Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

The Skatalites, formed in the early 60s, 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, Jah Jerry, Lester Sterling, Jackie Mittoo, Lloyd Brevett and Lloyd Knibbs. After two fruitful years, a combination of several problems caused them to break up in late 1965, leaving behind a wealth of historical recordings. In 1975 stand-up bass player Lloyd Brevett gathered together the core members for two sets of sessions, the first at Lee Perry's Black Ark Studio, the second at Aquarius. The album that those sessions produced was released as The Legendary Skatalites on the Jam Sounds label and in dub form as Herb Dub Collie Dub a year later, but only in very limited numbers. This is the album's first full release, fully restored in digital clarity. A companion edition to Motion Records' earlier release, 'Heroes of Reggae in Dub', it features different dubs from the same 1975 Skatalites reunion sessions as well as two completely different dub tracks. The musicians include: Lloyd Brevett, Roland Alphonso, Tommy McCook, Johnny Moore, Ernest Ranglin, Chinna Smith, Lester Sterling, Vin Gordon and Augustus Pablo. The album comes with extensive sleevenotes by Geoff Parker, and a new cover design by Jeff Teader. King Tubby mixed the dubs of the Black Ark cuts; the rest were mixed on the spot at Aquarius. The result was an outstanding acoustic dub album. It was produced by Lloyd Brevett, founding member and bassist of the band, and Glen Darby, who sang professionally as a youth at Studio One, as part of the vocal group The Scorchers.
The vocal cut of Starlight by vocalist Tony Brevett is accompanied by the dub version wich features some haunting clavinet and the authorative trombone playing of Don D Junior. The instrumental Middle East is also present here in dub format, with Tommy McCook's horn dubbed to the max. Whispering Dub features a virtuoso performance by Lester 'Ska' Sterling over the jazzy guitar licks of Ernest Ranglin. In the fast-moving piece Kimble Dub the horns of the Skatalites receive the full King Tubby treatment. In the outstanding extended mix of Roots Dub Roland Alphonso's sax and Ernest Ranglin's guitar are to the fore. African Roots Dub opens with a vocal duet by Ruth Brevett (Lloyd's wife) and Tony Brevett and features some beautiful snatches of Tommy McCook's playing the flute. African Dub is a cut to Tony Brevett's 'Starlight' and employs the most up-tempo riddim track of the Black Ark sessions. Candlelight Dub is an alternate cut of 'Whispering Dub' that highlights the nyahbinghi drummers.
With great sounds from the past this album is a must-have set !

Teacher & Mr. T.