TROJAN INSTRUMENTALS BOX SET (TRBCD007) - Instrumental releases have been popular among the Jamaican record buying public since the very dawn of the island's recording industry - from the Jamaican Blues of the late fifties through to the music of today. And at no other time were non-vocal records more in demand than during the sixties and early seventies, a time when Jamaicans rocked to the sounds of Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae. It upon these exciting, formative years that this collection focuses, highlighting the work of some of the great virtuosos and instrumental groups from this hugely creative and productive period.

Throughout this time, few were more influential than trombonist, DON DRUMMOND and saxophonists, TOMMY McCOOK, and ROLAND ALPHONSO, all three of whom were not only major figures in their own right, but in addition, founder members of the legendary Skatelites. Formed in the summer of '64, The Skatelites represented the cream of Jamaican talent, and also featured celebrated saxophonist, LESTER STIRLING, trumpeter JOHNNY 'DIZZY' MOORE, drummer Lloyd Knib, bassist Lloyd Brevett, guitarist 'Jah' Jerry Haines and Donat Roy 'Jackie' Mittoo on Keyboards. Following their inception, the group recorded on countless sessions and often performed anonymously - as was the case with many of their sides for Arthur 'Duke' Reid, who issued much of their work crediting The BABA BROOKS Band. Oswald 'Baba' Brooks was an exceptionally talented trumpeter who also acted as musical arranger for Reid's recordings throughout the early sixties and was also frequently employed in both capacities by a number of other Kingston-based producers, most notably, Prince Buster, Richard Khouri, Justin Yap and both, Lynden and Sonia Pottinger. The Skatelites continued to dominate the local music scene until the close of '64, but while still at the height of their popularity, were dealt a blow from which they never fully recovered. In a fit of rage during the early hours of January 1st 1965, Don Drummond murdered his girlfriend, Marguerita Mahfood. The trombonist, who had long suffered from a mental disorder, was subsequently arrested and convicted, spending his final four years within the confines of the Bellvue Sanatorium.

His incarceration sparked the break-up of The Skatelites and by the close of '65, the group's leading members had formed new outfits. One of the most notable of these was Tommy McCook & The Supersonics. Featuring McCook alongside fellow ex-Skatalites, Johnny Moore and Lloyd Knibb, the group also included trombonist Danny Simpson. HERMAN MARQUIS on sax, pianist GLADSTONE ANDERSON (aka Gladdy Adams), WINSTON WRIGHT on organ, Clifton 'Jackie' Jackson on bass and either George Tucker or Ranny 'Bop' Williams on guitar. Shortly after forming, Knibb left to be replaced by Hugh Malcolm, around which time the group became Duke Reid's in-house band at the producer's famed Treasure Isle Studio in Bond Street. For the next few years, Tommy McCook & The Supersonics help Reid create some of the finest Rocksteady and Reggae sounds to emanate from Jamaica, but sadly, by the close of the decade, the group disbanded due to internal differences.

Another group to make substantial impact on the sound of Jamaican music in the latter half of the sixties was LYN TAITT & THE JETS. Led by Trinidadian guitarist Nearlyn 'Lyn' Taitt, The Jets featured Bryan Atkinson (bass), Gladdy Anderson (piano), Bobby Ellis (trumpet), Lynford 'Hux' Brown (rhythm guitar), Joe Isaacs (drums), Ike Bennett (organ) and 'Deadly' Headly Bennett (sax). Within months of their inception, early in 1967, the group became Federal Studios' regular session crew and went on to regularly work with many of Jamaica's leading producers - including Prince Buster, Sonia Pottinger, Joe Gibbs, Derek Harriott and Leslie Kong (for whom they recorded as BEVERLY'S ALL STARS). Taitt's decision to relocate to Toronto, however, led to the group folding around the end of '68.

Also much in demand during this period were The Carib Beats. Led by guitarist, Bobby Aitkin, the backbone of the group consisted of bassist Vincent White, Winston Grenon on drums and keyboard player, Bobby Kalphat, while other occasional members included saxophonist Alphanso Henry, trombonist Dave Parks and trumpeter Mark Lewis. Among the producers with whom The Carib Beats often worked were J.J. Johnson (as THE J.J. ALL STARS) and Edward 'Bunny' Lee, for whom they often backed soloists such as Lester Sterling and VAL BENNETT - the latter being another veteran of the music scene, who had performed with various local groups since the forties. His memorable sax work can be heard on The Upsetters' 1969 hit, "Return To Jango", although Bennett went unaccredited on the UK release of the single.

By the close of the sixties, Tommy McCook & The Supersonics, Lyn Taitt & The Jets and The Carib Beats had all disbanded and among the most successful of the new groups  formed in their wake were The Dynamites (aka Gladdy's All Stars). The core of Dynamites consisted of Gladdy Anderson (piano) Hux Brown (lead guitar), Jackie Jackson (bass), Winston Grennon (drums), Neville Hinds (organ) and Wallace Wilson (rhythm guitar), while others who recorded with the group included Hugh Malcolm (drums) and Winston Wright (organ). Throughout the early seventies, the group worked with for a plethora of producers, including Leslie Kong, Harry Johnson, Alvin Ranglin and Lee Perry - who respectively credited them as Beverley's All Stars, THE HARRY J ALL STARS, THE G.G. ALL STARS and THE UPSETTERS.

Another combo who worked closely with Perry around this time (and also had their material issued as The Upsetters) were the young quartet of guitarist Alva Lewis, organist Glen Adams and brothers Aston 'Family Man' Barrett and Carlton Barrett, on bass and drums respectively. The group, who also recorded as THE HIPPY BOYS, represented a new generation of musicians who were to play an increasingly important role in the development of Reggae.

Of the up and coming soloists, few had a more dramatic effect upon the sound of Jamaican music than AUGUSTUS PABLO (real name Horace Swaby), who was the first to popularise the melodica in the early seventies. Others to exert a notable influence on Reggae during this period were organist LLOYD 'CHARMERS' Tyrell and bassist BORIS GARDINER, both of whom were equally adept at singing, producing and performing.

In closing, whilst it is not possible to identify all the individuals who contributed to the music on this set, it would be remiss not to mention those likely to have participated somewhere along the line. So due respect is paid to drummer Arkland 'Drumbago' Parks; percussionists Larry McDonald, Noel 'Scully' Sims, Bongo Herman, Denzil Laing and Issiah 'Sticky' Thompson, trumpeters Frank Anderson, Percival 'Rupert' Dillon and Dave Madden, trombonist's Ron Wilson and Vincent Gordon (aka 'Don Drummon Junior'), pianists Theophilus Beckford, Aubrey Adams and Lloyd 'Richard Ace' Richards, and saxophonists, Robert 'Bobby' Gaynair, Cedric Brooks, Stanley Ribbs and CARL 'CANNONBALL' BRYAN and finally, harmonica player, ROY RICHARDS. To these and all the other musicians who helped to create the wonderful sounds on this compilation, we give a genuine and wholehearted thanks.




Harry J All Stars
James Ray
The Crystallites
The Hippy Boys
Napoleon Solo
Lynn Taitt & The Jets
Fat Dog
Joe Gibbs & The Love Generation
One Eyed Giant
Baba Brooks
GG All Stars
Tom's Version
Herman Marquis
Tribute To King Scratch
Lester Sterling
East Of The River Nile
Augustus Pablo
Eastern Standard Time
Don Drummond
Reflections Of Don D
John 'Dizzy' Moore
Make Yourself Comfortable
Los Cabbeleros Orchestra
The Rooster
Tommy McCook & His Band
In The Spirit
Lloyd Chambers
Tons Of Gold
Val Bennett
For A Few Dollars More
The Upsetters

The Russians Are Coming (Take Five)
Val Bennett
Boris Gardiner
Soul Scorcher
Carl 'Cannonball' Bryan
Top Secret
Winston Wright
Return To Django
The Upsetters
Roy Richards
Guns Fever
Baba Brooks
Memphis Underground
JJ All Stars
The Hippys Are Here
The Hippy Boys
Tit For Tat
Neville Hinds
El Torro
Roland Alphonso
Death A Come
Lloyd Charmers
The Saint
Tommy McCook
My Cherie Amour
Harry J All Stars
El Casino Royale
Lyn Taitt & The Jets
The Crystallites

Clint Eastwood
The Upsetters
Way Of Life
Carl Bryan
Heads Or Tails
Winston Wright
Last Call
The Silverstars
El Pussy Cat Ska
Roland Alphonso
Memories Of Love
Boris Gardiner
Decimal Currency
The Blenders
Eight Years After
Tommy McCook
Jumping With Mr Lee
Val Bennett
The Monster
Beverleys All Stars
Seven Guns Alive
Baba Brooks Band
The Hippy Boys
Love Me Forever
Gladdy Anderson & Lyn Taitt & The Jets
Don't Let Me Down
Harry J All Stars
Green Island
Don Drummond
The GG Allstars
Stop That Man
The Crystallites

Time - 51:45

Time - 45:21

Time - 50:50

All material Copyright Trojan Records