Music News

The Skatalites

When legendary Studio One producer Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd died in 2004, he left behind a real legacy: Ska, widely considered to be the first truly Jamaican music, was among his most enduring creations. To pioneer the style -- which combines the understated rhythms of 1960s R&B, jazzy horn sections designed to accentuate the rhythm (not overwhelm it, as most modern ska acts are apt to do), boogie-woogie blues, calypso and a percussive yet mellow island vibe -- Dodd gathered together the musicians who wound up forming the Skatalites in 1963. Despite its reputation for promoting the "wrong" rhythm -- the beat fell on the off second and fourth notes -- ska developed into a happy, carefree style that caught fire in the dance halls and with sound-system DJs. The Skatalites rose to the very top of the scene, and their first hit, "The Guns of Navarone," remains a classic. Although ska soon gave way to rock steady and reggae, the Skatalites preserve a vital part of Jamaican culture.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Glenn BurnSilver
Contact: Glenn BurnSilver