Cuban born Jamaican saxophonist Roland Alphonso was one of the island’s most beloved musicians, a founding member of The Skatalites – perhaps the most important group in the development of Ska and, in turn, reggae music. By the age of 17 Alphonso was gigging regularly and by 21 he started recording regularly as a session musician. Working with such important producers as Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd and Duke Reid, Alphonso played on dozens of R&B, mento, and early Ska sessions, as well as doing arrangement work. By 1960 he had begun cutting singles with his own groups as a leader, including The Alley Cats and The City Slickers while still working as a sideman. This crucial collection culls together Alphonso’s finest singles in the early Ska era, just before the creation of the Studio One group, The Skatalites. Essential early Ska from one of Jamaica’s most talented musicians, collected on 180 gram vinyl limited to 500 copies.
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