LLoyd Brevett, the great ska and rocksteady bassist, died on Thursday. He was one of the founders in 1963 of the Skatalites, the pioneers of ska, rocksteady and bluebeat. The group were together only for 18 months, but in those 18 months helped transform Jamaican music. Brevett went on to play with, and for, some of the greatest Jamaican bands and producers of the Sixties, including the Wailers, Toots and the Maytals, Prince Buster and Lee Perry. ‘All my bass lines from all my recordings have been attributed to bass lines from Lloyd Brevett’, Bunny Wailer once said.
So, here are the Skatalites with Rock Fort Rock, the Wailers with Simmer Down (their very first single), Prince Buster with One Step Beyond, and Toots and the Maytals with Pressure Drop (I’m pretty sure that Brevett doesn’t actually play on this, but it’s my favourite Toots track – indeed, it would probably be on my Desert Island Discs list – so it had to be here):