Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Ernest Ranglin: Guitar in Ernest

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Those who associate Ernest Ranglin solely with the upbeat riddims and tropical timbres of his native Jamaica do so justifiably, but the reissue of Guitar in Ernest offers a reminder of the guitarist’s mastery of straightahead jazz. For both its style and its sound, this 1965 record could just have easily been made for the Contemporary label with the Hampton Hawes Trio as at Kingston’s Federal Recording Studio with pianist Leslie Butler, drummer Carl McLeod and bassist Stephen Lauz.

Ranglin, then 33, plays especially lyrically, like Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessel, and hits a relaxed, playful and mellow stride that makes the most out of “Green Dolphin St.,” “Jordu,” while a couple of Ranglin originals (“Ernest’s Tune,” “Ernest’s Delight”) showcase the guitarist’s compositional prowess and technical virtuosity. For a man who helped create the loping rhythms of reggae, Ranglin can be a stunningly fast guitarist.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.