The SkatalitesHi-Bop Ska
DETAILSEvent: RECORD STORE DAY 2018
Release Date: 4/21/2018
Label: Jump Up / Shanachie
Release type: RSD Limited Run / Regional Focus Release
Jamaican ska originators' Grammy0nominated 1994 album available for the first time on vinyl. Recorded 30 years after the breakup of the original Skatalites, "Hi-Bop Ska" finds the band's blend of R&B, jazz, and Afro-Caribbean music continuing to sound healthy and exuberant. Throughout the 1990s, the band's studio/live ranks ranged from newcomers to survivors of the band's classic 1960s lineup, including saxmen Tommy McCook and Roland Alphonso, bassist Lloyd Brevett, drummer Lloyd Knibbs, and vocalist Doreen Shaffer. The Skatalites are joined here by several prominent guests including fellow Jamaican legends Toots Hibbert (of Toots & the Maytals) and Prince Buster; jazz improvisers Lester Bowie on trumpet, saxman David Murray, trombonist Steve Turre, and Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander. The jazzers get plenty of room to shine on this mostly instrumental album, from Alexander's "Renewal" and Murray's "Flowers for Albert" to remakes of iconic 60's ska anthems "Man in the Street", "Guns of Navarone", "You're Wondering Now", and "Ska Ska Ska". "Hi Bop Ska" harkens back to the heyday of Jamaican independence, when the freedom sounds of ska ruled the dancehalls. These dozen songs are an essential journey for fans who discovered ska from it's Third Wave (Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Toasters, Mephiskapheles) and Second Wave (The Specials, Madness, English Beat), but is also a wonderful addition to the band's short lived 1960's output on Studio 1 and Island Records.