MIGHTY piece of heavyweight instrumental Ska from it’s, for me, greatest collective, the Skatalites. No need for me to wax about them too tough as they are well known and greatly appreciated. Suffice to say that this piece, produced by the majestic Vincent ‘King’ Edwards and delivered by the cream of the islands urbanemusicologists IS Ska. Simply put these are the musicians who ‘invented’ and created Jamaican music after 1962.
(Sir Coxson) Downbeat marrow trembler courtesy of the majestic Jackie Mittoo, (the backbone of Studio 1 throughout the golden years), and the brentford road massive aka the Skatalites, the soul brothers, Sound Dimension the Brentford road all stars/disco set at the top of the game. released in 1966, (as the Ska slid into the Rock Steady) on Downbeat’s genre defining Studio 1/Supreme Label.
Regulars on themusicologist know how strongly the ‘Keyboard King’ has been representing over the years due to his credentials as one of the greats of the music that I love. Jackie is/was and will always be the KING of Studio 1 for me
there are rare tunes and there are BOSS tunes..no doubt which category this STANDS in.
So much to say but, words, for me, don’t do thoughts/feelings justice. That said, I will do my best with the vocabulary I ‘have’ in an effort to communicate my thoughts/feelings on the what, why, how, when of the nubag (new bag) that I feel like working out of for the new year.
Interestingly and without my knowledge (but not without my understanding), the time has come and the nu beat is being played and the dance begins TODAY.
Not ONLY is it the dawn of spring it is also the dawn of the final phase (for me) and rebirth is coming as we ‘sail into the mystic’…
My aim is to post a tune every day between Feb 8th (new years day) and Jan 27th (year end), a marathon for sure but I will give it my best ‘shot’. The music will be diverse.
First up a top ranking piece of, (late), Ska from a king of Jamaican music, Justin Hinds (and the Dominos), one of the pioneers of the vocal group style at his/their very best. Recorded for the mighty Duke, the Trojan, Reid and released on his Treasure Isle Label. Echoes of and certainly inspired by Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler’s early Soul killer .. I’m a Telling You. One more example of Curtis Mayfield’s contribution to the development of Jamaican music.
Don Pedro is a lover of the fine things in life…a purveyor of quality and style. Be it women, vehicles, garments, food, ‘kettles’, ‘Tom’ and anything else that catches his attention. Anyone who knows the Don will clarify that the Cats antenna is finely tuned. That’s not to say that he can’t or doesn’t know how to get down with all manner of people as the Don posseses that rare quality of being comfortable in his own skin and therefore non judgemental of others regardless of how they ‘hang’. A proper ‘man of the world’ the DON has seen and lived more on his travels through life than most. I wax lyrical about the man because those of us who have shared some of them travels can say that they have lived too. The Don asks for for little but gives plenty.
Anyway before i digress and get lost, (im on a TIGHT schedule on this fine sunny morning in London Town), …hold this rip roaring piece of Jamaican Ska from led by one its greatest protagonists the mighty Oswald ‘Baba’ Brooks featuring the cream of Jamaica’s musical fraternity. Recorded for Duke Reid and released on his Treasure Isle label in, (what sounds to me like 1965) ..
what more can I say about the ‘Wailing Wailers’…the trio who went on to internationalise the music of Jamaica that has since had such a BIG impact on contemporary music especially ‘Hip Hop’ and ‘House’ both of which owe a great debt to the artists, producers and engineers who were always innovating and showing what was possible with limited technology. EVERY 21st ‘bedroom producer’, whether consciously or unconsciously, takes inspiration from Jamaican Urbanmusicology.
From the early 1950’s the Sound System pioneers helped to blaze the trail for what was to follow, chatting on the mic, selecting in the dance etc but it was in the 1960’s and particularly with Sir Coxsone Downbeat’s Brentford Road powerhouse, appropriately named ‘Studio 1’ that the music really took shape. Of course there were other BIG and influential producers at the time notably Duke Reid, Leslie Kong, Justin Yap, King Edwards, Prince Buster but Coxsone was the one who truly moved the focus out of the dance and into the Studio with artists such as the Wailers. Coxsone was a businessman but also a vanguard AND music lover who knew how to pick a winner and without him the musical landscape of not only Jamaica but, (in my opinion) the world would be a different place.
DOWNBEAT THE RULER will ALWAYS be the CHAMPION sound for me.
Wailing Wailers TributeTees designed and produced by themusicologist available EXCLUSIVELY at
More Ska from the Wailers, who were first introduced to Studio 1 by percussionist Alvin ‘Seeco’ Patterson and went by the name ‘the Teenagers’. Bob had already recorded a tune for Leslie Kong before arriving at Coxsone’s Brentford Road gate but as a (5 piece), group they were yet to record. Lee Perry was assigned the task of making the ‘Wailers’ the islands #1 group and encouraged them to work at their original material rather than the covers that Coxsone, (who was a fan of the group), was forwarding. This SUPERB piece is one of those original compositions..Jackie Mittoo on the keys leading the Studio 1 band, (formerly known as the Skatalites)