Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

The Skatalites with the Murder City Players and Orange Tree 

Sunday, June 11; Mississippi Nights

When the Reel Big Fishes of the world return to their lives as janitors and the No Doubts drop the ska in favor of a more current sound, the Skatalites will remain, ever preaching the glory of ska -- not the dumb '90s kind but the classic sound of 1965 Jamaica, when the music that evolved into reggae was exploding and the uppity dum-chink, dum-chink rhythm set an island and, eventually, a world ablaze.

And it was the Skatalites who did the burning. Who knows how something magical happens, but it did when a bunch of musical geniuses -- including Don Drummond, Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso and Jackie Mittoo -- converged in Kingston in the late-1950s, swept up by the glory of American rhythm and soul. But that was 35 years ago. The Skatalites 2000 feature three remaining members of the original band: alto-sax player Lester Sterling, drummer Lloyd Knibb and bassist Lloyd Brevett. The octet stretches out more these days than they did when the Skatalites were making Jamaican rhythm & blues; these days the style is more expansive, relying more on loose jazz structures than on rigid pop ones. The result, though, is just as transcendent, as evidenced on their two most recent releases, 1998's Skavoovee (Shanachie) and Ball of Fire (Island).

It should be noted that tonight's show is being held in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Vintage Vinyl, the city's best record store and the store that has maintained one of the best ska and reggae collections in the country for the duration of their existence.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of...

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 21, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation