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Baba Brooks

b. Oswald Brooks, c.1935, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. When there was a shortage of R&B sounds coming from the USA in the late 50s, the sound system men enrolled the services of musicians who would record their own tunes. Many of these recordings were jazz-orientated and featured a horn section to complement the shuffling beat. Baba Brooks played trumpet and in the early 60s had his own band, whose recordings included the celebratory ‘Independence Ska’, commemorating Jamaica’s freedom from colonialism in 1962. Both ‘Bus Strike’ and ‘Musical Workshop’ were hits in 1964. His band was also noted for its rendition of ‘Distant Drums’, which had the distinction of being the debut release for Philip and Justin Yap’s newly formed Top Deck label. As well as providing backing on a number of early ska hits, including ‘Run Joe’ with Stranger Cole and ‘Penny Reel’ with Eric Morris, the band released the classic ‘Guns Fever’, recorded at Studio One in Brentford Road in 1965. His 1966 instrumental hit ‘King Size’ appeared to be a ska interpretation of ‘Makin’ Whoopee’ and originally surfaced as the b-side to the Saints’ ‘Brown Eyes’. In 1967 he returned to the frantic pace of his 1965 hit with ‘One Eyed Giant’, which featured a ‘chika chika’ vocal sound and on which each player performed a jazzy solo. Other hits included ‘Teenage Ska’, ‘River To The Bank’ and ‘Ball Of Fire’. His recording of ‘Chang Kai Check’ provided the foundation of many reggae hits. His band continued to play on sessions until the early 70s.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Trojan Instrumentals Box Set

Disc 1

1. Liquidator

3. Capo

4. Napoleon Solo

5. Fat Dog

7. Champion

8. Tom's Version

9. Tribute To King Scratch

10. East Of The River Nile

11. Eastern Standard Time

13. Make Yourself Comfortable

16. Tons Of Gold

17. For A Few Dollars More

Disc 2

1. The Russians Are Coming (Take Five)

2. Scarface

4. Top Secret

6. Contact

7. Guns Fever

8. Memphis Underground

9. The Hippy's Are Here

10. Tit For Tat

11. El Torro

12. Death A Come

13. The Saint

14. My Cherie Amour

Disc 3

1. Clint Eastwood

2. Way Of Life

3. Heads Or Tails

4. Last Call

5. El P**sy Cat Ska`

6. Memories Of Love

8. Eight Years After

9. Jumping With Mr. Lee

10. The Monster

11. Seven Guns Alive

12. Cloudburst

14. Don't Let Me Down

15. Green Island

16. Barabus

x

Track List: Various Trojan Mod Reggae Collection

1. Ali Baba

2. Country Town

3. Riverton City

4. Fat Man

5. C N Express

6. Nevada Joe

7. Running Around

9. Rum-Bum-A-Loo

11. Step Softly

12. The Man (AKA Man To Man)

13. Lucky Seven

14. Oh Babe (Sick And Tired)

15. Sweet Soul Music

16. Thunderball

17. Renegade

20. (Music Is My) Occupation

21. Lonely Feeling (AKA Here Comes That Feeling)

23. Dr. Kitch

24. Just Tell Me

25. Gun Fever

26. I'm In A Jam

27. Delilah

28. Bombshell

29. Good Time Rock

30. Kitch You're So Sweet

31. Storm Warning

33. The Ugly One (AKA Lee Van Cleef)

35. A Yuh (Hey You)

37. Gun Man Coming To Town

38. Lonely Days

39. Stranger In Town

40. I Am Coming Home

Comments

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Looove the trumpet solo. This song always makes me smile :)

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