Ernest Ranglin – Surfin’ – Telarc

Ernest Ranglin – Surfin’; Telarc CD-83632 ***:  

Seeing the rainbow colors all over the front and the back disc cover
led me to assume this disc would contain reggae music, although not in
the conventional sense.  First of all, the quality of sound is
much better than most discs of the genre.  Secondly, Ranglin is a
guitarist, so there is a heavy reliance on this instrument in the
mixes.  Still, the band is full of adept musicians that work so
fluidly together that they make an excellent counterpoint to Ranglin’s
guitar work.  Ernest has been playing jazz guitar for over four
decades and wrote or co-wrote all of the material on this disc. 
It consists of mellow Jamaican mood music at its most relaxing and
seductive.  Track six adds horns and almost sounds like a Chicago
song (if not for the backbeat).  Some of the songs (like track
eight) dig deeper into the reggae sound.  On track 10 vocals are
present (while the other tracks are strictly instrumentals)—it’s too
bad because they were a nice addition.  Occasionally (ex. track
six), the listener gets the impression that Ranglin is a fan of all
sorts of music whether it be soul or R&B as these elements seem to
creep into the music at varying times.  It’s an enjoyable, easy
listen.

There is an ever-so-slight emphasis in the upper midrange and top end,
but nothing too severe.  Songs included are:  Surfin’;
Reminiscing; Ketch It; Freedom Dancer; One Chord Stylee; Jah Kana;
Ramouslin; Surfside; These Times; Dancing Mood II; Nyah; Diamond;
Tender Moments; September; Dance All; Yu Si Mi.

-Brian Bloom

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