welcome back to the Skaject folks! today we’re checking Top Sounds From Top Deck: Ska-Boo-da-Ba, by the Skatalites!

alrighty this record kicks off with a title track, Ska-Boo-da-Ba, which is a, well, ska arrangement of Boo-da-Ba by Bill Dogget. this is a light, breezy track, an absolute delight. dig this one. Confucius is broodier, and damn the horns are putting in incredible work here. Chinatown is operating in the same space, that off-beat rhythm here is just fantastic. Reburial is toe-tapping grooves all the way down. Smiling is a real pleasant one – the horns are pulling a lot here but im digging those drums. Skaravan riffs on Duke Ellington’s Caravan, and this one’s real nice and smooth. Ringo’s horns are another bright, poppy section, and im really digging the guitars on this one. this one’s from a ’52 track, Ringo Oiwake by Fujio Ozawa and Masao Yoneyama. Surftide Seven, another Ellington track, is nice – i wonder if i cant find a better recording since the one im using is uh… a little blown out. Lawless Street is a lil more laid back, a bit more parade-y to me, which makes some kinda sense to me given its ambiguous origin. Marcus Junior’s nice. Ghost Town’s got some real fun sax work here, closing in towards the end of the record. China Clipper, a Paul Conrad piece, closes out the record really nicely.

faves – Ska-Boo-da-Ba, Confucius, Chinatown, Skaravan, Ringo, Ghost Town
dislikes –

every once in a while since restarting this project ive had a moment that mad previous ska listening make sense. the Skatalites had never been a band i sat down and spent time with, but digesting this music put LOT of other non-punk ska ive dug into better context, haha. i feel like im gonna have a better frame of reference when i return to, say, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, for example (hilarously, im p sure ive listened to TSPO’s version of Skaravan before).

tbh i dont have a ton to comment on this one, the performances were really nice, and this was a very nice, smooth, jazzy record. i really enjoyed these tracks, and nothing here felt out of place or underdeveloped. real solid one. shame i had to piece the tracks together on spotify, haha (i know some versions of this release traded Marcus Junior and Ghost Town for Wings of a Dove and Shame and Scandal but i went with what discogs listed as the master release).

Ska-Boo-da-Ba – 7/10

next up we’re gonna checking out a 1966 record by Laurel Aitken, Ska With Laurel


previous: The Sensational Maytals  | next: Ska With Laurel

full page on the skaject