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Rico Rodriguez

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One of the most prolific session players of Jamaica's pre-ska era, trombonist Rico Rodriguez later emerged as a catalyst behind the UK's 2-Tone movement of the late 1970s, recording both as a solo artist and as a member of the legendary Specials.
While attending Kingston's Alpha Cottage School, an institution for wayward boys, he studied trombone under the legendary Don Drummond. In the years to follow, Rodriguez emerged as one of Jamaica's most highly regarded session musicians, often working under the direction of the renowned producer Duke Reid. While his forte remained jazz, he adapted brilliantly to any environment, and applied his improvisational skills to productions from notables including Sly & Robbie. In 1977, Rodriguez also cut a solo LP, Man from Wareika, credited to simply "Rico; " it was followed a year later by Midnight in Ethiopia. In 1979, he appeared on the Specials' cover of "A Message to You Rudy," and soon joined the band as a full-time member; for the group's 2-Tone label, Rodriguez also helmed his own outfit, Rico and the Rudies, to yield the albums Blow Your Horn and Brixton Cat. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

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