Home Read Classic Album Review: King Django | Reason

Classic Album Review: King Django | Reason

The veteran ska sideman puts his resumé & Rolodex to work on a dynamic solo set.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Everybody dreams of being king, but New York ska maven Jeff Baker has pulled it off.

For years, he’s been toiling in the ska trenches, singing and playing trombone for roots rockers such as The Stubborn All-Stars and The Slackers, along with ska-punk outfits like Skinnerbox and Murphy’s Law. On this second solo album, he puts his resumé and his Rolodex to work, assembling a crack band anchored by some of his old bandmates and dropping a dozen innovative cuts that merge reggae, dancehall, dub, hip-hop and even crunchy metal into a grandly groovy hybrid. Sure, purists might turn up their noses. But anybody who understands there are only two kinds of music — good and bad — will know this belongs in the first category. It’s good to be the king.