There was a point in the mid/early-90s where groups like Reel Big Fish and Street Light Manifesto became hugely popular by playing songs in the genre of “ska”. Ska is an interesting genre where reggae and latin have a baby and their baby grows up and has a baby with some rock/soul blues. It is very, very unique. So once these groups became wildly popular, other groups started to pop up and do ska covers of songs. Now, the 90s was a period in time when live music started to die and jazz took a huge blow. Not much popular jazz or classical music was made during this time. That is where the youngsters come in. Some kids decided, “Lets combine jazz and ska!” and bam, this jazz sub genre of ska was created. Groups like the “New York Ska Jazz Ensemble” and even “Skanatra” popped up. Sadly, I don’t think many of these groups became popular or widely listened to but they sure were awesome. Skantra’s take on Fly Me to the Moon (here) had amazing harmony and cool vocal runs and growls. Usually the vocals on these songs aren’t too great but in this case they were awesome. Dancing Mood’s cover of Scrapple from the Apple by Charlie Parker (here) was a slow paced version of a super fast standard. I thoroughly enjoyed that cover as well. Overall, these ska covers promote listening to something new. I love Sinatra and Bird and hundreds of other jazz musicians and thought I could never listen to them any differently but apparently there are new ways to listen to my favorite standards. I hope this blog post encourages you to YouTube your favorite songs and find ska versions because it isn’t only jazz.