You know how we feel about vinyl. And obviously the legendary Skatalites do as well -- the the Godfathers of Ska's infamous live Jamaica jam sessions from the Blue Monk Jazz Gallery Nightclub are being re-released on a double LP set via the fine people at ROIR.
Stretching Out was recorded in 1983 during the Jamaica Reggae Sunsplash festival, reuniting the original members of the band (save late drummer Don Drummond) 18 years after their initial split. In 1965, the band had been together just two years before calling it quits to pursue individual careers. They'd been invited to Sunsplash by Herbie Miller, a nightclub owner and music manager who would later manage the Skatalites. The night of the famous recording was actually a rehearsal for the festival, performed at Miller's nightclub in front of local fans, friends and fellow musicians. With no restrictions on solos, length of songs or set, the band let loose and, as the album title suggests, really stretched out their performance.
[original cover of Stretching Out]
[Vol. 1 LP cover of Stretching Out]
Originally released as a double cassette, then again as a (still available) double CD, not all of the material would fit on one LP. Incidentally, only Vol. 1 of Stretching Out is currently available on vinyl with Vol. 2 "coming soon." Luckily since that fateful night in 1983, we haven't stopped hearing from the Skatalites, though the line-up has seen some changes -- their career has perservered, resulting in more than a 25-album discography.