Ernest Ranglin


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A pioneer in the formation of reggae in Jamaica in the early '60s, guitarist Ernest Ranglin has had a dual career ever since: as a fine jazz improviser and as a highly influential force in reggae. On this set of catchy if repetitive rhythmic tunes, Ranglin combines the two idioms. The backup band primarily plays reggae rhythms and is in a subsidiary role, keeping the music grooving. It is a pity that none of the sidemen have an opportunity to be featured other than a so-so tenor solo on "Diamond." Ranglin is the main voice throughout, sometimes showing off his jazz chops (and sounding a little like Wes Montgomery or Johnny Smith) and at other times sticking to reggae. The individual songs are interchangeable and not particularly memorable, but the overall feel of the album should satisfy fans of instrumental reggae (only one song has a vocal), and also satisfy the curiosity of those wondering what Ernest Ranglin sounds like.

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