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Roland Alphonso

Jamaican saxophonist. He learnt to play at the legendary Alpha Boys? School, as did many of his contemporaries, a strict Catholic school for ?wayward? boys run by nuns that produced an incredible number of top class musicians. In the early to mid 60s Roland tore up the dancehalls as a founding member of the Skatalites, recording a string of hits such as ?Guns of Navarone?, ?Phoenix City?, ?Man In The Street? and ?Dick Tracey?, making them the leading exponents of this new music called Ska and the most popular group in Jamaica.

When the Skatalites split up in 1965 Roland formed the Soul Brothers with Jackie Mittoo, a group that oversaw the change of musical styles from Ska to the slower paced Rocksteady and more hits soon followed. In 1967 he joined Jackie Mittoo?s group the Soul Vendors where he played on many of the group?s instrumental hits which are still constantly being versioned in Jamaica to this day. For examples of his work check the Soul Jazz Records compilations ?Studio One Ska?, ?Studio One Story? and ?Last Train To Skaville?

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