Toppa Top 10: Reggae’s Ten Greatest Drummers

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April 29, 2014

2. Lloyd Knibb


Legendary timekeeper Lloyd Knibb was a founding drummer of the Skatalites, and also played with the Supersonics, the definitive rocksteady band. Knibb was trained as a jazz drummer and his playing brought a creative artistry to the Jamaican music of the era. He incorporated Afro-Caribbean burru and Nyabinghi rhythms into his style and developed the “flying cymbals” sound (essentially open hi-hats on the upbeats). After Knibb’s death in 2011, former Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson said of him: “[He] could be steady as a rock, as frenetic as a hurricane, and as soothing as a shower of rain.”