I only came across the Jazz Jamaica All Stars today thanks to a great UK based independent label called Gearbox Records. They are by no means a new band so an introduction will not be necessary for many who dabble in jazz. But for those who haven’t come across them before they were formed in 1991 by original Jazz Warrior Gary Crosby (nephew of veteran Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin) they blend a fusion of mento, ska, reggae and jazz styles to create their award-winning skazz (Ska/Jazz).
In truth there are two versions of the band…big and small: there is Jazz Jamaica and then the big band version Jazz Jamaica All Stars both of whom are fantastic…so take your pick! They feature some great covers and that jazz slant gives them a pretty unique touch to their sound.
Gary Cosby is a man of many hats, along with his partner Janine Irons they also founded Dune Music, a platform for promoting Britain’s most talented jazz artists. Here’s a nice flavour of their sound…A trailer for Jazz Jamaica All Stars/Brinsley Forde/Urban Soul Orchestra tour of CATCH A FIRE – A Tribute To Bob Marley and The Wailers. Part of the Lively Up! Festival which toured the UK towards the end of 2012…Enjoy!
and the classic Guns of Navarone