Years ago, I was lucky enough to see Burning Spear live with Bobby Ellis, the great reggae trumpet player, in his band. It was the first time it slapped me in the face, the crucial role of horns in reggae, because, holy shit, did the presence of Ellis ever elevate the sound of that band on that particular night. The local reggae radio show aired an hour of the show a few days later and I taped it. I listened to that tape over and over and what I came away with is that, at that point in Burning Spears' career, Ellis' playing was essential to his sound, as much as the rhythm section. I've had a soft spot for horns in reggae ever since.
Here's one each from four of the best: Ellis, Tommy McCook and Roland Alfonso, both saxophonists, and Don Drummond, trombonist; all reggae icons. These cuts are all top notch, as in really, really good. Listening to them back to back with change your mood.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:Tommy McCook - Tenor On Call mp3 at J-Bird 196?
Don Drummond - Don Cosmic mp3 at Rasta Geeks 1961
Roland Alphonso and the Studio One Orchestra - Cleopatra Rock mp3 at Club Clortez 196?