By April 30, 2016 Read More →

Weekend Needle Drop-TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA

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I do not know if anyone even noticed that I did not do a review from my collection last week. As I am sure you all know Prince passed away and that loss affected us all in a big way. I thought about doing two reviews to make up for it this week, but have chosen not too. One week will remain blank in memory of Prince one of the greatest talents of our generation.

Now back to our regularly scheduled Weekend Needle Drop 52 Weeks 52 Albums
TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA-Full Tension Beaters Grover Records Germany
I was turned on to TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA back in the early 90’s when I got a copy of their Self Titled full length album. My friend Cy had bought it and it was just a little too big band and odd for him. I loved them on first listen. Later becoming friends with a Japanese exchange student who was attending the University of Pacific and had been a music student of the Trumpet player. Every time she would come back from Japan she would have a stack of CD’s from him and she would give them to me. It was very hard at that time to come by these releases and if you did they were usually $30 import CD’s.
Currently they are a 9 piece but at one time they stretched to 12 members. This album was the first album by the band that was released outside of Asia and I am lucky enough to own a copy of the German Pressing on Vinyl. Full Tension Beaters is a full on SKA release. The lineup that recorded the album was the bands most stable and recorded and toured together for 8 years.
The album has 15 tracks including a stellar rendition of the Duke Ellington classic “In A Sentimental Mood” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Interlude.” Songs range from the Latin SKA of “5 Days of TEQUILA” to the Dub of “Jon Lord” and “Skarada Dub.”  I would say that my favorite track on the release is “Howlin’ Wolves” written by the Alto Sax player. It is a fast paced rocker that is reminiscent of 60’s Spy Movie Theme songs as done by Dick Dale.
I recommend that you pick up anyone of Tokyo SKA’s releases especially those that have came out in the new millennium. They don’t venture to the US often but if you see they are coming your way, do yourself a favor and catch them live, you will kick yourself if you don’t.
Thanks for indulging me for another week, until next time. Keep spinning.

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About the Author:

Middagh Goodwin LIVES Music. He has been booking and promoting Music, Art and Comedy for years in the Central Valley. He ran the award winning Plea for Peace Center in Stockton for 5 Years and has booked bands from A-Z. Middagh is beginning 2016 with a new position at the Gallo Center for the Arts and celebrating Beat Happy! Music's 30th Anniversary. Read the MAMAView every month and a the Needle Drop 52 Records 52 Weeks.