COUNTRY: Jamaica
LABEL: Telarc/Island records
ALBUM: New album in 2023
STYLE: Reggae Jazz
LINE UP: 4 (guitar, keys, drums, bass)
BOOKING: Worldwide

Ernest Ranglin is undoubtedly the greatest guitarist in the history of Jamaican music.

Ernest Ranglin is one of the biggest contributors to the evolution of the genre, and his versatile and versatile guitar playing is a scruffy shortcut between Caribbean music and reggae, a mix of jazz phrasing and local rhythms. .
In 1948, Ernest Ranglin became a professional playing for local big bands. Late 50s, he had to go back to smaller combos. Ernest Ranglin formed a quintet and toured hotel circuits. At this time, the Rhythm & Blues of New Orleans enjoyed immense popularity in Jamaica.

The musicians of the island played it with a particular swing: ska was born. Many people attribute the continuity of ska to Ernest through the piece “Shuffling Bug”. One thing is certain: Millie Small’s first hit ska “My Boy Lollipop” was arranged by Ernest Ranglin for a tiny label promised to great things: Blackwell’s Island Records.

The legend is running. He will not stop anymore. Returning to Jamaica and to the club and hotel circuit, he plays all kinds of music on demand. Ernest Ranglin works in the day for Studio 1, where he detects talent and helps Coxsone, the boss, for arrangements. It was there that he met Bob Marley, who would have urged Ernest to be his permanent guitarist. Ernest declines the offer: “I wanted to devote myself to my own career”.

Ernest Ranglin, however, created Skatalites, a group that would become mythic. In the early 70’s, Ernest arrives for the first time in the United States, on tour with his compatriot Monty Alexander. He will remain ten years in Florida:

“There, it was enough that I put a calypso shirt and I would win four times more! At that time I sometimes wondered why I was racking my head to change my music. “

In the 90s, Ernest Ranglin really develops his own music. Great tracks follow: “Below the Bass Line”, “Memories of Barber Mack”. But one thing titillates Ernest: the African roots: He commented on his visit on tour with Jimmy Cliff: “When I was there, through the kora and others, I discovered the instruments of the origins . ”

His first project on this continent is a coup de maître: In Search of the Lost Riddim, recorded in Senegal with Baaba Maal, Mansour Seck and others. The adventure in Alextown confirms Ernest Ranglin’s musical aesthetic, that of placing his guitar so fluid and swinging on the canvas of the South African group.

Having collaborated with the greatest musicians such as Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Bob Marley, Sly & Robbie, Baaba Maal, Monty Alexander …, Ernest Ranglin will release a new album to celebrate his 87th birthday in 2019.


An entire pan of Jamaican history.”- Musiq XXL