Various Artists

Street Corner: Ska Classics and Original Rude Boy

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Amidst a wealth of vintage reggae reissues and compilations comes this ska sampler from the Metro label. Most of these cuts were originally produced by Duke Reid and feature various lineups culled from the Skatalites band. Contrary to the title, though, this is a ska roundup without the rudeboy sound. A majority of the material was recorded before the rudeboy era's brief flowering in 1966 and is lacking any of the classic rudeboy sides, save for Alton Ellis' "Dance Crasher" (for plenty of rudeboy cuts, check out Trojan's Rudies All Around and Tougher Than Tough collections). This is a fine-sounding mix of mostly top-notch instrumentals by such Skatalites members as trombonist Don Drummond ("Green Island"), tenor saxophonist Tommy McCook ("Silver Dollar"), and trumpeter Baba Brooks ("Vitamin A"). Also included are a few vocals by Derrick Morgan ("Blazing Fire") and Derrick Harriott ("The Jerk"), as well as an early DJ side by Sir Lord Comic. Add some more standout instrumentals from the studios of Clement Dodd (Drummond's "Man in the Street") and Bunny Lee (Val Bennett's "Jumping With Val") and you have a roundup solid and generous enough to hold its own amongst the competition.

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