Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin’s work with reggae legends Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff and long association with internationally acclaimed Jamaican jazz pianist Monty Alexander (check out Monty’s classic reggae-saturated MPS outing, Rass), ranks Ranglin among the major figures in West Indian music. One of the founding fathers of ska, Ranglin’s jazz credentials were permanently established when in 1964 London’s iconic Ronnie Scott’s Jazzclub hired him as their house guitarist.
On Ranglypso Alexander takes on the role of sideman alongside renowned German bassist Eberhard Weber and English drummer Kenny Clare. The mento in Ranglin’s Mento-Time in Jamaica refers to the Jamaican folk music that heavily influenced reggae and ska. The Roberta Flack hit Feel Like Makin’ Love maintains its original soulful sound, while the medium-up Escape to Villingen is a bluesy tip of the hat to MPS. Ranglin and band blaze through the classic Brazilian choro standard, Tico Tico, Ranglypso celebrates calypso’s up-beat joy, and the Stylistics hit You Make Me Feel Brand New retains its gorgeous ballad feel. The R&B hit Honky Tonk plays as a straight-ahead shuffle with classy blues solos, and the album’s last piece is a rocking ride down the modal Freeway. Sumptuous jazz and soul marinated in the melodic-rhythmic juices of the Caribbean.