June 14, 2024

Ernest Ranglin Ernest Ranglin
Modern Answers to Old Problems
(Telarc Jazz – 2000)
by Paula Edelstein

Ernest Ranglin’s career spans five great decades! The guitar virtuoso began playing ska and reggae in Jamaica and has worked on dozens of hit records including those of the great Bob Marley and The Wailers. His debut for Telarc Jazz, Modern Answers to Old Problems features the world-class guitarist in the company of British jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine, and attracting African musicians Orefo Orakwue on bass guitar, Olalekan Babalola on congas and percussion, Olakunle Ayanlowo on talking drum. Ranglin is also accompanied by Tony Allen on drums, Chris Franck on percussion, rhythm guitar, berimbau, Joe Bashorun on Wurlitzer, organ, Denys Baptiste on tenor sax and Sylvia Tella on vocals.

Ernest Ranglin wrote eight of the ten compositions and they are some of his finest. “Memories of Senegal,” and “Sound Invasion” both fascinating fusions of Ranglin’s ability to develop the full range of Black musics – soul, reggae, and African as well as jazz, are but two of the exciting musical interests on this CD. He and saxophonist Courtney Pine enjoy themselves on “Inflight” with each contributing their own styles to modern jazz while Joe Bashorun pulls out the stops on the Wurlitzer. This is one of the best songs on the CD. Modern Answers to Old Problems elevates Ernest Ranglin to the front ranks of jazz interpreters.

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