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  Listen Up! 6/18/03 Listen Up!

Wednesday, June 18

Various Artists, “The Rough Guide to Ska,” World Music Network. This is a terrific introduction to the world of ska, with plenty of fairly obscure cuts from the originators, the Skatalites, Rico Rodriguez, Cornell Campbell, Roland Alphonso, the Maytals, Lord Creator, Don Drummond, et al. It always amazes me how many great records came out of Jamaica back in the day. These guys just cranked them out, and even at their most inane – and one of these songs is “The Mexican Hat Dance” by another name – you just can’t help smiling when you hear early ska. Most of this is far from inane, by the way. Many of the musicians employed on these records were spectacularly good.

--Steve Pick

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