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  The Skatalites: Bashaka The Soul Selector

The Skatalites: Bashaka


Celebrating a 35 year anniversary, Jamaica's foundation group comes strong with their latest release on the Marston label out of Florida, featuring cameo vocal appearance by the great Ken Booth. Nothing new here, as far as the Skatalites'modus operandi---but that's just fine! When you've got one of the most identifiable signature sounds on the planet, it's only proper the big, pre-digital waves of original Ska music just keep coming. 'Bashaka' sounds crisp and eternal, the living legacy of the Skatalites captured on fifteen selections by producer Ralston 'Stamma' Haughton, himself a wiley veteran of Jamaica's studio scene. Although founders Tommy McCook and Roland Alphonso have passed on, their roles in the horn section are well-served by two greats who were contemporaries of Tommy and Roland---Lester Sterling and Cedric Brooks, true heavyweights in their own right. The nine-member band is simply one of the greatest musical institutions on our planet today, keeping alive that 'cool & deadly' sound of real ska music.

Mostly it's instrumentals here, although the soothing tones of Ms Doreen Shaffer are featured on two cuts, as well as guest appearance by one of the real greats of Jamaican music-Ken Booth, who at his best would give any American soul singer of the past 40 years a run for their money. Special mention must also be made of the continuing genius---and that's what it is, genius---of the original riddem twins of Jamaica, bassist Lloyd Brevett and drummer extraordinaire Lloyd Knibb. How they swing is the inspiration of countless ska rhythm sections around today, one of the very greatest of drum and bass combinations in world history. If I sound reverential, I should be---the signature sound of the Skatalites made the very greatest musical history ever created in the Carribean. But guess what?? Their story is in no way over, the music just rolls on, and 10 years from now "Bashaka" will sound every bit as tough&sweet as it does now. Pick this up and dare the hot weather to keep you from skanking in step….



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