January 14, 2016
Rolando Alphonso 1931 ~ 1998
Compared to much music that was popular in Europe and the US during the time, I'm always amazed by the unique sounds that came out of Jamaica in the late 1950s.
Rolando Alphonso really put his own signature style of sax playing on much of the Ska and Rocksteady music that would develop later on. One can hear Mento, American Jazz, and R&B influences, but still a musical sound that was very new and all its' own for the time.
This 1958-59 recording with Clue J and the Blues Blasters, originally was pressed in Jamaica on the 'Worldisc' record label in 1959.
Though the same recording, this 'Studio One' label press is probably the second or third mid-60s press out of Jamaica.
An instrumental shuffler, 'Proof Rum' is early Ska at it's finest.
January 8, 2016
One of the best bands of the 1990s.
After a long absence, the mighty L7 was back touring this past year. Let's hope they write and record some new music this new year. This song is on their 1994 LP, 'Hungry For Stink'.
January 3, 2016
2010 reissue - Japan
Yvonne Harrison recorded about a dozen sides starting with a couple of duet records in the early 60s with Roy Panton and also Derrick Morgan. Backed by Tommy McCook's band, 'Near To You' was written by her.
Simply a fantastic reissue press of her original 1968 Caltone recording. I've always preferred finding original first press records. This is an exception. Bought it through the mail (about 12 bucks w/postage).
To run into this 45 is tough enough, especially outside the UK. Expect $200. to $400. for an original press, that is if you find someone who wants to sell it?!
original 1st press Caltone UK 1968
I've been completely obsessed with this 45. There are a few rocksteady sides one could call haunting. Haunting, beautiful, quality rocksteady sound and vocal.
With Chuck Higgins and his Mellotones backing, this was Johnny 'Guitar' Watson's first vocal and first recording put on a 45. He also played piano on this side with Chuck Higgins playing saxophone.
Great early R&B sound, but really in the tradition of a "Jump Blues" style one might hear in the late 1940s, a few years before.
The flip side is 'Pachuko Hop' by Chuck Higgins and his Mellotones. John Watson also recorded another version of 'Motor Head Baby' a year later, in 1953, as the Young John Watson on the Federal label.