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Alpha Boys' School: Music in Education, TROJAN
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The Independent Culture

Founded in the late 19th century as a home for wayward boys, Kingston's celebrated Alpha Boys' School has long been a vital source of Jamaican musical talent. Run since 1939 by Sister Mary Ignatius Davies, it initially furnished the ranks of military bands, only later providing a steady stream of jazz-trained players for the island's dance bands and studios, from boys such as the trombonist Don Drummond, who notoriously murdered his girlfriend a short while after recording the classic "Eastern Standard Time", the most famous track on this fascinating compilation of pieces by Alpha alumni of the Fifties and Sixties. A quartet of early bop instrumentals from Joe Harriott and Dizzy Reece are followed by a brace of Duke Reid ska sides - "Eastern Standard Time" and Tommy McCook's "Rocket Ship" - before tracking Jamaican styles through rock steady (Jo Jo Bennett's "Musical Pressure"), early reggae, and toasting in the Seventies (Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace's laconic "Skanky"), when Alpha provided the musical muscle for producers such as Bunny Lee, Derrick Harriott and Sonia Pottinger.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Eastern Standard Time'; 'Rocket Ship'; 'James Ray'

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