Tommy McCook  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Tommy McCook (3 March 19275 May 1998) was a Jamaican saxophonist. A founding member of The Skatalites, he also directed The Supersonics for Duke Reid, and backed many sessions for Bunny Lee or with The Revolutionaries at Channel One Studios in the 1970s.


The death of McCook in 1998 passed by completely unnoticed by the mainstream press. Like his fellow Skatalites, Roland Alphonso and Jackie Mittoo, McCook never received the respect from the general media that his contribution to Jamaican music richly deserved. McCook was born in Havana, Cuba, and moved to Jamaica in 1933. He took up the tenor saxophone at the age of eleven, when he was a pupil at the famed Alpha School, and eventually joined Eric Dean’s Orchestra.

In 1954 he left for an engagement in Nassau, Bahamas, after which he ended up in Miami, Florida, and it was here that McCook first heard John Coltrane, and fell in love with jazz. McCook returned to Jamaica in early 1962, where he was approached by a few local producers to do some recordings. Eventually he consented to record a jazz session for Clement "Coxson" Dodd, which was issued on album as Jazz Jamaica. His first ska recording was an adaptation of Ernest Gold’s "Exodus", recorded in November 1963 with musicians who would soon make up the Skatalites.


  • Top Secret - 1969 - Techniques
  • Horny Dub - 1976 - Grounation
  • Reggae In Jazz - 1976 - Eve
  • Cookin' Shuffle - Jamaica Authentic
  • The Authentic Ska Sound of Tommy McCook - Moon Records (1998)
  • Down On Bond Street - Trojan Records (1999)
  • Tommy's Last Stand - Creole - 2001
  • Blazing Horns - Tenor In Roots - 1976-1978 - Blood & Fire (2003)
  • Real Cool - 1966-1977 - Trojan Records (2005)

With The Skatalites

  • Tommy McCook & The Skatalites - The Skatalite! - 1969 - Treasure Island

With Bobby Ellis

  • Green Mango - 1974 - Attack
  • Blazing Horns - 1977 - Grove Music

With The Aggrovators

  • Brass Rockers - 1975 - Striker Lee
  • Cookin' - 1975 - Horse/Trojan
  • King Tubby Meets The Aggrovators At Dub Station - 1975 - Live and Love
  • Show Case - 1975 - Culture Press (1997)
  • Disco Rockers (aka Hot Lava) - 1977 - Dynamic Sound
  • Instrumental Reggae - RAS (1992)

With Yabby You

  • Yabby You Meets Tommy McCook In Dub - Peacemaker
  • Yabby You Meets Sly & Robie Along With Tommy McCook - Prophets

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Tommy McCook" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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