“Ska Strictly for You”

The full title of this record is a mouthful:  Sir Coxson Selects… While Roland Alphonso Plays… Ska Strictly for You.  

Originally released in 1965 (my version is a re-release of indeterminate vintage), this is some seriously old-school ska that was re-released by Jamaica’s famous Studio One.  Six artists combine for the album’s 12 tracks, including some of the most well-known ensembles of the day that later went on to even greater fame such as The Skatalites and The Wailers (yes, those The Wailers).  The music takes you all the way back in time – the sound is basic and not as deep and rich as we’re used to in modern recordings, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the snaps, crackles, and pops were carry over artifacts from the original recordings as opposed to the fact that this is on vinyl.  It sounds old.  Like something you’d have heard if you’d been sitting at that outdoor cafe in Havana drinking banana daiquiris with Michael and Fredo in The Godfather II.  It makes me almost want to take up smoking filterless cigarettes and wearing starched, white short sleeve dress shirts.  It’s a by-gone record from a by-gone time, but one that still oozes cool.

Grab a rum and coke, sit out on the deck, and go back in time… time… time…

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