Text in englischer Sprache verfügbarA pioneering force behind the rise of Caribbean music, guitar virtuoso Ernest Ranglin was born in Manchester, Jamaica, in 1932. He began playing ukulele as a boy, soon graduating to guitar; while in his teens he began performing live both locally and in the Bahamas, often in tandem with the young Monty Alexander. Ranglin's session work at the famed Studio One helped give birth to the ska phenomenon, which during the late '50s began taking Jamaica by storm. He finally began attracting international notice in 1964 when he traveled to London to perform at Ronnie Scott's jazz club, so impressing its owner that he remained on as the venue's resident guitarist for the next nine months. There he made a number of solo records for the fledgling Island label, and also collaborated with Prince Buster; additionally, Ranglin teamed with Jamaican singer Millie Small to cut the international smash "My Boy Lollipop." He soon returned to session work, arranging classics including the Melodians' majestic "Rivers of Babylon"; with his guitar leads on the Wailers' "It Hurts to Be Alone," he also laid the foundation for the rise of rockers reggae. Though remaining perhaps best known for his jazz prowess, in the '70s Ranglin toured with Jimmy Cliff; in 1973 he was awarded the Order of Distinction from the Jamaican Government for his contributions to music, and continued touring and recording regularly throughout the decades to follow, most notably signing to Chris Blackwell's newly formed Palm Pictures label to issue 1998's In Search of the Lost Riddim. E.B. @ Noon and Modern Answers to Old Problems arrived two years later, Grooving appeared in early 2001, and Alextown and Surfin' followed a year later by Earth Tones and Innovation. Both were collaborations with Jamaican guitarist Earl "Chinna" Smith and American jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter. Ranglin toured sporadically but shied away from recording. The second decade of the 21st century, saw an extensive series of reissues from his early back catalog reissued by several labels including Japan's Dub Store Records. In 2016, at age 84, he embarked on the Ranglin & Friends Farewell Tour accompanied by Courtney Pine, Tony Allen, Cheikh Lo, Ira Coleman, and others.
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Reggae - Erschienen am 1. Januar 1969 | Dub Store Records
By the time Boss Reggae was released in 1969 by Ken Khouri's Federal Records, guitarist Ernest Ranglin was already an instrumental star in Jamaica and England. In his twenties during the '50s and early '60s, he helped pioneer ska as a session guitarist at Studio One. As the latter decade moved toward its middle, he held down a nine-month headlining role at Ronnie Scott's Club in London. Ranglin cut a slew of "themed" records for Federal, all of which have seen reissue in the 21st century. Like many recordings of the era, the other studio players are uncredited. They are all aces however, and they had to be: Ranglin's playing, rhythm, and production approaches (there are several kinds of each here) are always from the jazz side of the equation. Opener "Grandfather's Clock" offers a rocksteady take on a British dance band classic, while the very next tune, "Soulful I," reflects Lee Perry & the Upsetters' instrumental cover of a David Issacs' "Since You Are Gone." The latter cut is wild sonically -- the guitarist's jazzy chords and solos are framed in early dubwise grooves and a production style that recalls Les Paul's '50s style. Ranglin proves his pop savvy with a cover of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" (though it's based on the hit Nilsson version) with ample wah-wah behind multiple layers of single-string playing, all above a rocksteady-cum-county rhythm section vamp. A sense of humor is evidenced by "Dr. No-Go" with its seamless meld of surf, Northern soul, and reggae. The cover of the Melodians' "Sweet Sensation" is compelling because it's the only cut here dominated by an organ (and also contains a vocal chorus), but Ranglin guides the rhythm section expertly. The set closer is a cover of the Curly Putman and Billy Sherrill countrypolitan classic "My Elusive Dreams." Ranglin and company up the tempo and he delivers otherworldly jazz chord voicings that flow underneath his leads while the rhythm section choogles beside him until the fade. If there's a drawback to this set, it's the length -- it clocks in at under half-an-hour. That said, every single track is a winner. Boss Reggae fleshes out Ranglin's profile as a studio leader and innovator during a pivotal era for reggae. © Thom Jurek /TiVo