Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today was a Day for a Roir Records Re-release on Vinyl: The Skatalites -- Stretching Out (1987)

Great news arrived in the post yesterday: a nice, new vinyl copy of the best live ska album of all time by the best ska band of all time (The Skatalites - Stretching Out - 1987, 2 LPs). Stretching Out was originally put out as a cassette-only release by Roir Records in 1987, but last year they finally released the set on vinyl for the first time.

The music on the two LPs comes from a recording of a warm-up show that The Skatalites did on June 27, 1983 in preparation for their reunion performance in July at the Reggae Sunsplash festival in northern Jamaica, and from a recording of a show later in the month on July 17, 1983. Both shows took place at The Blue Monk Jazz Gallery in Kingston, Jamaica. The performances that summer constituted the first full Skatalite shows in 18 years--almost two decades after their short-lived, but legendary tenure in 1963-65.

I was fortunate enough to see a Skatalites reunion show at the "old" 9:30 Club in D.C. in the spring of 1994. It was a helluva show and a great night of music. By 1994, however, there were missing members from the original 1960s lineup. Not so on this double album--this is the original lineup playing and improvising together for some of the initial times after an 18-year hiatus. The Skatalites kick out the jams, mofo. Listen for yourself below (and buy the vinyl if you can):

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