Laurel Aitken

The Long Hot Summer: Jamaican Ska, 1963

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Pioneer ska singer Laurel Aitken returned to Jamaica in 1963. He recorded a dozen tracks with the Skatalites (except for trombonist Don Drummond), premier instrumentalists who performed on many important early ska recordings. The musicians had little rehearsal time and the tracks were recorded in only two days, including mixdown, at Khoury Studio on Foreshore Road in West Kingston; consequently, the music has a loose feel that sometimes resembles a jam session. Since the original masters were not available, these tracks were remastered and produced from original vinyl (by Unicorn Records U.K., which licensed the music to ROIR). This collection holds considerable historical interest for fans of early ska music, but it is not recommended to those who want an introduction to early ska or only the best work of Aitken's and the Skatalites's respective careers.

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