Reissue of a 2000 recording by the veteran Jamaican guitarist
Ernest Ranglin. Ranglin smoothly integrates traditional reggae and jazz
with his amazingly tight band which includes Antonio Hart, Warren Bernhardt
and Anthony Jackson.
Ernest Ranglin - (guitar), Antonio Hart - (saxophone), Warren Bernhardt -
(piano), Gary Mayone - (keyboards), Anthony Jackson - (electric bass),
Errol "Crusher" Bennett - (percussion), Steve Jordan - (drums)
Now in the sixth decade of his recording career, guitarist Ernest Ranglin, as displayed in Gotcha!
, is the master at turning less into more. Using the simplest reggae and ska rhythms and the most basic hooklines for melodies, he turns the album into a wonderfully endearing and joyful set. Its component parts are easy to identify: an understated but insistent rhythm section of bassist Anthony Jackson, percussionist Errol Bennett and drummer Steve Jordan, a sweet-toned pianist in Warren Bernhardt whose solos bounce and romp around the rhythms, a groove-based organist in Gary Mayone to provide the funk, and a fine saxophonist in Antonio Hart to lay down some heavier jazz. Dominating them all is Ranglin himself, whose clean, ringing single-note runs suddenly pile into scrunched up chords and chiming arpeggios. Think Wes Montgomery, but on a Caribbean beach, and you get the idea. Yet when you put all these individual parts together, the whole is so much bigger. Each of the nine tracks has much to recommend, though "Way Back When" stands out for its glorious, echoing Ranglin riff, while "Moondance" (a Ranglin tune, not the Van Morrison one) is irresistibly catchy. In its seeming simplicity, Gotcha!
overwhelms. --Simon Adams