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Top Deck Presents: Ska Instrumentals [Import]

Various Artists Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Price: $11.92 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 2, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Spectrum Audio UK
  • ASIN: B00BMUL12I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,992 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Chances are if you're reading this you're already familiar with the album "Ska-Boo-Da-Ba" (included here), one of the finest Ska albums ever. The band responsible was The Skatalites. And the producer was (the late) Phillip Yap. This set collects many of The Skatalites'/Yap's finest recordings. As usual with these compilations, a number of tracks are dubbed from original vinyl sources, so there's a variation in sound quality. But for many fans (like me) that atmospheric sound gives the music more authenticity and excitement. The 10 page booklet has a short essay on Yap and the music, track listing, reproductions of period record labels, and a few photos of the band.

While some of these tracks will be familiar to long time fans, some of those tracks are different takes with a different lead instrument. So while the melody and rhythm may be familiar, the use of different instruments gives a number of these tracks a slightly new musical life. Many of Yap's recordings were only pressed in small quantities, and are fairly rare. While a few others were released long after recording and when the Ska boom had faded somewhat.

These sides--from the 1960's--are prime Ska instrumentals. With no vocalists the band could really concentrate on putting out some top flight music. Pick any tune here and you'll hear what I mean. You'll also hear versions of U.S. songs by Duke Ellington ("Skaravan" from "Caravan"), or "In A Mellow Tone" (heard here as "Surftide Seven"), or guitarist Phil Upchurch's upbeat hit "You Can't Sit Down" (here as "Ghost Town"), or jazz musician Rusty Bryant's "Shake A Lady" ("VC10 (Shake A Lady)"), and a few others. Or listen to take 3 of Henry Mancini's "A Shot In The Dark".
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