The Sultan of SKA

BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter livingstonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, December 09, 2013    

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SULTAN Ali is doing his part to keep ska music alive by injecting his own style into the sound some refer to as Jamaican jazz.

He told the Jamaica Observer that his music, while inspired by traditional ska, is directed at a younger generation.

"My music is a little different from my father's music in the sense of fusion and an innovative approach, combining different musical elements, searching for a fresh sound," said Ali, who is based in Los Angeles.

That fusion of ska, jazz and Rhythm and Blues can be heard on his latest songs, Pride and Joy and Beautiful Angels, released earlier this year on his World Buster Records label.

Ali has toured with his father and seen first-hand the passion for ska in Europe and the United States.

The reverence for Prince Buster and his contemporaries led to a ska revival in the US during the 1990s, which led to the rise of bands like 311 and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

While he is determined to expand ska's sound and base, Ali says he will not compromise the legacy of its pioneers like his father, whose songs include Judge Dread and Blackhead Chineyman.

"Ska music has gone through its fourth resurgence and is probably on its fifth. My love for the music is beyond measure, and there is a joy and an uplifting spirit of which I'm the benefactor."

Sultan Ali is currently working on his debut album, Faith Not Fear, set to be released in 2014.



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