Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Day 242 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Skatalites - Ska-Ra-Van

Slipping back a few years musically but sticking with the travel theme... this one is "Ska-Ra-Van" by the Skatalites and in my humble opinion it is one of the best covers of the jazz standard "Caravan," originally composed by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington and first recorded in 1936 by Barney Bigard And His Jazzopators ever recorded.  And believe me... as an amateur fan of mid-century jazz, exotica and easy listening I have heard A LOT of Caravan covers.  I know there are numerous, potentially incalculable numbers of versions of this song since it was written (in the 1950s there were at least 30 different remakes alone!) but the ska take has always been my favorite!  But believe me, as you can probably guess, I am a little biased toward anything Jamaican.  Recorded for producer Justin Yap in one of his legendary marathon sessions and originally credited to Roland Alphonso when it was released as a 7" on the Top Deck label in 1964, this is the Skatalites at their prime and it absolutely cooks!  Dig it!

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