DISCOGRAPHY | POSTED ON: Friday 14th February 2020
Boss – a tribute to Original Sounds of Ska
BOSS a Tribute to Original Sounds’ celebrates an international love affair with Jamaican music. Since the early 60’s the sound of Jamaica’s distinct syncopated lilt has filled dancefloors and sold records across the globe. Boss pays tribute to the great music of the 60’s and 70’s that inspired 1000’s to follow.
Musicians from across the globe have contributed their time and skills to the creation of these 70 tracks for a 4 disc CD boxset. It includes tracks originally recorded by the pioneers of ska, reggae and rocksteady, including Laurel Aitken, The Skatalittes, Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals and many more.
In a weird, postmodern move, you have still-active originators Stranger Cole and Keith and Tex essentially paying tribute to themselves (as well as their peers). The Kingston All-Stars (a supergroup comprised of Sly Dunbar, Ansel Collins, Mikey Chung, Linford Brown, Jackie Jackson, Robbie Lyn, Everton and Everald Gayle–who, in various incarnations, have worked with Bob Marley’s Wailers Band, Studio One’s Sound Dimension and Soul Vendors, Lee Perry’s Upsetters, Peter Tosh’s Word Sound and Power Band, and Toots and the Maytals) back Stranger Cole on a great, moody original ska cut “Step Up” (“…in the light”). Chicago’s Akasha support Keith and Tex on a faithful rendition of their indestructible and enduring 1967 take on The Spanishtonians’ “Stop That Train.” The Crombies (also from Chicago–Jump Up is located in the Windy City and the band’s label, after all!) turn in a raucous and threatening version of Stranger Cole’s 1963 rude boy anthem “Rough and Tough.” First generation mod/musician Arthur Kay and his Clerks cover “Sea Cruise” (a rhythm and blues/proto-ska track written by Huey “Piano” Smith, but a hit for Frankie Ford in 1959; Jackie Edwards covered it in 1964; and, of course, Rico Rodriguez was backed by The Specials for his 1980 2 Tone single featuring this song) and their rendition is lively and completely winning. While nothing here is a radical, rule-breaking interpretation of a beloved ska or rocksteady classic, the performances are rock-solid and enjoyable.