Saturday, July 3, 2021

VA - Jamaica Jazz 1931-1962 [2016] (3 x CD's)


VA - Jamaica Jazz 1931-1962 [2016] (3 x CD's)

The best Jamaican musicians brought a substantial, masterful contribution to jazz. Their belated recognition reveals truly original, spirited and sophisticated styles. At long last, the rare, little known albeit greatest recordings of the founders of Jamaican jazz are gathered here. They include strong personalities such as Wilton Gaynair, Cecil Lloyd, Billy Cooke; Ernest Ranglins quirky guitar playing and groundbreaking afro-jazz by Count Ossies drum orchestra, as well as the legendary Joe Harriott, Roland Alphonso, Tommy McCook, Don Drummond and Rico Rodriguez. These musicians, who were about to create ska and reggae, breathe stunning life into swing, mento, blues, hard bop and soul jazz.  

This collection of recordings from Jamaica, the country of reggae, before the appearance of ska, its roots. It's a collection of sound sources from 1931 to 1962, so I think it's the first time for such a competition. CD1 from swing to Bop, Mento, Calypso with New Orleans style, Ellington style, blues style and so on. CD2 from full-scale bop to early recording of Niabingi with Caribbean Afro color. A chaotic CD3 with a unique sense of rhythm gradually beginning to appear. Of course, it seems that there are many musicians who were active in jazz based in the United Kingdom and the United States, but after all there are many musicians whose performances have a strong Jamaican color as a Caribbean, and a large volume with various discoveries. 

Almost all the artist names and group names I hear for the first time, and the ones I barely know are Count Odge and Don Drummond, which were recorded in 1962, Don Dramon is playing "Green Eyes" like a lounge. Odge is surprised because it's already reggae rhythm. Not only reggae fans but also those who are interested in bread and the Caribbean are a must listen.  (Amazon)



Track lists


01 Spike Hughes Orchestra Tap Your Feet 2:56

02 Benny Carter Blue Light Blues 3:07

03 Ken Snakehips Johnson Ans His West Indian Dance Band Snakehips Swing 2:51

04 Leslie Jiver Hutchinson and His Coloured Orchestra Big Top Boogie 2:58

05 Leslie Jiver Hutchinson and His Coloured Orchestra Swing Low Sweet Chariot 2:55

06 Lord Fly Donkey City 2:40

07 Lord Fly Swine Lane Gal Iron Bar 2:46

08 The Tower Islanders Brown Skin Gal 2:33

09 The Jamaican Calypsonians Wheel and Tun Me 3:07

10 Harold Richardson and the Ticklers Parish Gal 2:58

11 Moxey George Et Son Calypso Quintet Dry Weather House 2:50

12 Chin's Calypso Sextet Industrial Fair 3:01

13 Buddy Pipp's Highlifers Akee Blues 3:02

14 Joe Harriott Cherokee 3:04

15 Joe Harriott April in Paris 3:01

16 Joe Harriott How Deep is the Ocean 2:54

17 Dizzy Reece Bang 3:07

18 Tony Kinsey Fascinating Rhythm 2:46

19 Joe Harriott Just Goofin' 2:03


01 Joe Harriott Everything Happens to Me 4:46

02 Wilton Gaynair Blues for Tony 7:12

03 Dizzy Reece Eb Pob 7:28

04 Joe Harriott Blues Original 3:39

05 Dizzy Reece Chorous 2:58

06 Dizzy Reece The Gypsy 3:34

07 Cecil Lloyd Reserved 2:16

08 Cecil Lloyd Cumana 2:52

09 Cecil Lloyd Manhattan 2:38

10 Totlyn Jackson Old Devil Moon 2:59

11 Dizzy Reece The Escape and Chase 2:48

12 Dizzy Reece I Had the Craziest Dream 3:05

13 Cecil Lloyd Foggy Day 2:09

14 Cecil Lloyd Lullaby of the Birdland 2:39

15 Cecil Lloyd Volare 2:28

16 Wilton Gaynair Deborah 4:06

17 Wilton Gaynair Rhythm 5:21

18 Joe Harriott Caravan 5:40

19 Joe Harriott Abstract 3:37


01 Joe Harriott Impression 5:30

02 Joe Harriott Calypso Sketches 4:43

03 Rico Rodriguez Air Horn Shuffle 3:00

04 Rico Rodriguez Fire Escape 2:39

05 Cecil Lloyd Group What is This Thing Called Love 3:11

06 Count Ossie and the Wareikas Swing for Joy 3:11

07 Cecil Lloyd Group I'll Remember April 6:02

08 Don Drummond Green Eyes 2:36

09 Roland Alphonso I Cover the Waterfront 4:37

10 Cecil Lloyd Softly as in the Morning Sunrise 3:45

11 Cecil Lloyd Sometimes I Am Happy 3:13

12 Cecil Lloyd Grooving With the Beat 5:28

13 Cecil Lloyd Exodus 3:00

14 Cecil Lloyd Calypso Jazz Iron Bar Aka Jamaica Farewell 3:17

15 Cecil Lloyd Serenade in Sound 4:21

16 Cecil Lloyd Never on Sunday 3:06

17 Cecil Lloyd Away From You 4:25

18 Cecil Lloyd Mr. Propman 2:30

19 Cecil Lloyd It Happens 6:28

20 Tommy McCook The Answer 7:44

21 Harold McNair Tangerine 6:08

22 Harold McNair Harry Flicks 5:25




  1. Well, this looks like fun. Thanks, BB!

    1. Hi Simon,
      Fun comes in many colours. This is worth the listening pleasure.


  2. Thanks BB, this looks interesting, some very nice music came out of Jamaica over the years.

    1. Hi Bob Mac,
      Hopefully this has brightened up your day, weekend


  3. Butterboy, many thanks for your many great posts and especially for your return after that brief (but anxiety-inducing) hiatus last year. Do you have anything in the way of sleeve notes for this? Much of CD 2 and some of 3 was recorded in London in the 50s/60s with mixed groups, where Dizzy Reece, Wilton 'Bogey' Gaynair, Harold McNair and especially Joe Harriott were prominent on the British jazz scene and no longer worked in the ska-reggae idiom, though they had done or may have done in their early years before leaving for London.

    1. Hi Nemo,
      I don't have the booklet digitized.
      You can get the booklet and artwork here
      Click on the link that says "More images"


  4. Replies
    1. You are welcome, Guitarradeplastico,scraping oddities.


  5. I miss later posts, pls put it back. Thanks Slobo

    1. Hi Slobo,
      The link is still active. just click on the small picture.
      or use this