Writing with a heavy heart after reading the news that the mighty Lloyd Brevett, bassist for the legendary Skatalites, passed away back in May of this year. A man who ushered in the sound of Jamaica in the early ’60s and who continued to spread it around the world in the five decades to follow. A sound that will never, ever be forgotten. Strictly boss vibes!
Lloyd and his music has been delighting my ears for half of my life and those records will never get dusty in the crates. So many Studio One and Skatalites sides that still give me goosebumps to this day. One of my favorites, served up to me via Moon Ska’s “Ska Authentic” series (which sadly only lasted long enough to see three releases), is the record below. Pure fyah!
African Roots was released in 1975 and saw the reformation of The Skatalites who had not played together for over 10 years at the time of its recording. The sessions took place at Aquarius, Federal, and Treasure Isle studios with the mixing taking place at King Tubby’s. The resulting output is simply phenomenal. Heavy instrumental roots riddims persist throughout laced with killer percussion elements and the sweet melodies that only the Skatalites horn section can deliver. Enough with the chatter, it’s time to spin this platter. Jah bless Lloyd Brevett and all Skatalites massive!
Lloyd Brevett and The Skatalites – African Roots; Moon Ska, 1997
One would be remiss not to follow up African Roots with its companion Dub set. The absolutely phenomenal The Legendary Skatalites in Dub with King Tubby on the boards. Highly meditative sounds!
The Skatalites Meet King Tubby – The Legendary Skatalites in Dub; Motion, 2003