If you ever wanted to hear the evolution of rhythm and blues into ska in just a few songs, a good place to start is with records that feature saxophonist Roland Alphonso. Originally a jazz man, he started playing sessions in the pre-ska days of Jamaican music. His first recordings were produced by Coxsone Dodd (Studio One), in 1956. Those recordings were lost on their way to New York to get mastered. The injustice, eh? Imagine that, your first recordings... poof, gone. He was later one of the founding members of the Skatalites, the archetypical ska band, and when they petered out, the Soul Vendors. The Soul Vendors are like godhead around here. One of the preeminent reggae backing bands of all time, like the Booker T and the MGs of Studio One.
Listen to these songs and you'll get an idea of how those first few years of ska evolved. It's like turning over an engine for the first time. Really? I don't know, sounded good.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Roland Alphonso and the Blues Blasters - Proof Rum mp3 at Hear Say
Roland Alphonso and the Studio One Orchestra - Cleopatra Rock mp3 at Club Clortez
Roland Alphonso - Lee Harvey Oswald mp3 at Soul Garage
The Ska-Ta-Lites - Leave Me Alone mp3 at Soul Garage
Roland Alphonso - Bio at All Music