Mr. Brevett, a trained jazz bassist, was an original member of the
Skatalites, which was formed in 1964 during the evolution of Jamaican
music from American-influenced rhythm and blues and jazz to the
homegrown syncopated style known as ska, the precursor of reggae, rock
steady and dub. The band members were also active as studio musicians
and backed up the Wailers and other groups.The Skatalites broke up in the mid-1960s but regrouped in New York 20
years later. Two of their albums, “Hi-Bop Ska!” and “Greetings From
Skamania,” were nominated for Grammy Awards in the 1990s.
Not just anyone rates a NYT’s obit. Or condolences from a former Jamaincan Prime Minister, who just happened to be Brevett’s tour manager way back when. According to David McFadden of the Associated Press:
Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, who was
once a tour manager for The Skatalites, said that while the band’s great
horn section often drew most of the accolades, it was “Brevett who
quietly provided the mesmerizing backbone to the Skatalites’ sound.”
“To say that Brevett was a creator of both ska and dub is not to use hyperbole,” Patterson said in a statement.
Legendary Jamaican musicians say it’s difficult to overestimate the role the trained jazz bassist and the rest of the original Skatalites played in developing the Caribbean island’s unique music.
“He was there from the beginning,” Bunny Wailer told The Associated Press. “All my bass lines from all my recordings have been attributed to bass lines from Lloyd Brevett.”
Wailer, the reggae legend who was one of the original Wailers along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, praised Brevett as a devout member of the Rastafarian faith and an elder statesman of the island’s culture.
“Brother Brevett’s music is eternal,” Wailer said.