Western Standard Time - Big Band Tribute to the Skatalites
June 27th, 1964, the Hi Hat Club, Rae Town Jamaica - On a balmy tropical night a group of Jamaican jazz musicians are about to have a massive impact that will inspire millions of people, several generations and waves of artists who will play the rhythmic and melodic invention they all had a hand in two years earlier: Ska. That night, they called themselves the Skatalites and on that stage, with their infectious rhythms and jazzy instrumentation, they would light the match that set the fire of inspiration for all Rocksteady and Reggae artists, Rock influenced Reggae, The British Two-Tone movement, The Third Wave movement and what some call the most authentic Ska movement since the Skatalites: The L.A. Ska Scene.
What is it about Los Angeles that incubates such proficient, authentic and passionate Ska artistry? Is it the ghosts of the Central Avenue Jazz era, the influences of the Whittier Boulevard brown-eyed soul movement, or the glamour of the old Hollywood cool jazz and big band history? We do know it certainly has something to do with the Ska legends and Two-Tone artists who roared through the region touring in the 80's and 90's. No matter the reasons, L.A. holds the mantle for authentic Ska - Jazz based, real musicianship, all of it rooted in the music of the Skatalites.
Out of the L.A Ska scene a powerful big band outfit is poised to shine a warm light on the work of the Skatalites. They are a composite of band leaders and seminal players, all disciples of the Skatalites: they are called “Western Standard Time” in on honor of the Skatalites piece "Eastern Western Time." Each member a Jazz and Ska gunslinger, seasoned, tested and the utmost professional. They know their role, and that is to take this miracle music, the Skatalites’ Jamaican Jazz, world wide with the sophistication of Count Basie and Duke Ellington whilst reaching music fans of all stripes.