Archive for Jamaican

#6: Sugar Belly – The Return of Sugar Belly – Technique

Posted in Gold with tags , , , , , , , on November 18, 2011 by xxx
 As always, download link is at the bottom.

The Return of Sugar Belly

Here is what I know about Wilfred Walker: he played a bamboo saxophone that he crafted himself from scraps; he used his homemade instrument to play his own brand of Mento music under the name Sugar Belly. In the 1950s in Jamaica, before Reggae and Ska would have their day, people were shaking it up and dancing to Mento music. For those of you new to Mento, like me, music shares a lot with Calypso music from neighboring Trinidad and Tobago. This would be a great companion album with a previous post on this blog, The Fabulous McClevertys. Unlike the McCleverty album, this record is completely instrumental. It is a lot of fun and very easy listening. Like most Caribbean folk music, I find that it really suits itself for daytime playing. Throw this on in the car/bike as you cruise around town or even play it through a boombox on the beach. Sugar Belly is a rarity in record stores but also in that he is a self-taught musician playing his self-made instrument. That’s truly DIY.

Sugar Belly Article

Sugar Belly Article 2


#3 – Don Drummond – Greatest Hits

Posted in Gold with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2011 by xxx

As always, the download link is located at the bottom of the page.

Don Drummond

This is a great set of first-wave Ska instrumentals featuring legendary composer/trombonist, Don Drummond and The Skatalites. Drummond was a founding member of The Skatalites and composed many of their hits up until he was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and subsequently submitted to a mental asylum. Drummond died in the asylum a few years later. According to Wikipedia, some sources believe that Drummond was killed in the asylum for the murder he committed.


Despite the tragic events that capped his life, Don Drummond is remembered as a leading visionary in early Jamaican Ska music of the 1960s. His musical style has influenced generations of Ska and Reggae musicians and continues to do so today.

This album is a greatest hits compilation put out on the Treasure Isle/Sonic Sounds label. The jazzy improvisational trombone work on this album lend itself to repeated listens. These songs will never get old. So do yourself a favor, put on your dancing shoes and get down to these fantastic Ska jams. This is a great record to play at your next party or even just around the house. If you are used to listening/dancing to reggae music be prepared to dance to a faster beat, this music doesn’t lend itself to being completely stoned out, but a little buzz wouldn’t hurt. For those of you who don’t live in the tropics, throw this record on to be transported to a totally different time and place. That is what great music is all about, right? Enjoy. Download below.

Liner Notes