Ernest Ranglin


Telarc Records (CD 83632)

Ernest Ranglin, lead and rhythm guitar; Bo Pee Bowen, rhythm guitar; Robbie Lyn, organ and piano; Dede Briscos, trombone; Glen Browne, bass; Jeffrey Browne, tenor sax; Calvin Cameron, trombone; Firehouse Danny, bass; Dean Eaves, alto, tenor, and baritone sax; Mark Feinberg, alto, tenor, and baritone sax; Michael Fletcher, bass; Dean Frazer, tenor sax; Steve Golding, rhythm guitar; Romeo Grey, trombone; Ian Heard, alto sax; Desi Jones, drums; Paul Kaskick, drums; Stefan Klein, trumpet; Frederick Lasfargeas, piano; David Madden, trumpet; Larry McDonald, percussion; Tom Schwartz, trumpet and flugelhorn; Floyd Lloyd Seivright, vocals; Mike Smith, trombone; Derrick Stewart, drums and percussion; Mallory Williams, keyboards; Wade Zabula Williams, drums and percussion.

      Guitar legend Ernest Ranglin's influence on Jamaican music has been significant and profound. Born in rural Jamaica in 1932, the young Ranglin showed early musical talent and first learned the ukulele, then the guitar. He was influenced by Charlie Christian. While in his teens he moved to Kingston, Jamaica, and quickly found work in the big bands of the day, most notably with the Eric Deans Orchestra. In the late fifties, a chance meeting with record producer Chris Blackwell led to recordings that are widely regarded as the first examples of ska, the bedrock of Jamaican popular music.

      Another seminal recording in the 1960s was My Boy Lollipop, which became an international hit. He and countryman Monty Alexander were much in demand session players in the late fifties and early sixties. Ranglin was prominently featured on pianist Alexander's 2004 release Rocksteady, which paid tribute to those early days of Jamaica's Studio One.

      This newest Telarc release, Surfin', is drenched in sunshine and feel-good, make-you-wanna-dance rhythms, a blend of Jazz and shuffle beats, powered by Ranglin's masterful guitar and augmented by big-brass arrangements, the rhythm guitar of Bo Pee Bowen, Robbie Lyn on keyboards, and some of the finest Jazz players in Jamaica.

by Linda Goshay

Back to: August 2005 Vol. 15 No. 4 Table of Contents