Album review
Below The Bassline
Ernest Ranglin
Island-Jamaica Jazz

Tracking list

  1. Congo man
  2. Surfin'
  3. King Tubby meets the rockers
  4. Satta massagana
  5. 54-56 (was my number)
  6. Ball of fire
  7. Black disciples
  8. Bourbon Street skank
  9. None shall escape the judgement
  10. Nana's chalk pipe
  11. Below the bassline
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : - Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

Although this one is not a reggae album we do a review after all because it is an album of a man whose skills as composer, arranger and session player have enjoyed reggae listeners for more than 30 years. Ernest Ranglin was literally the man behind the scenes, instrumental in the creation of ska, rocksteady and reggae. Particularly noteworthy is his role in creating many of the enduring rhythms that came out of Coxsone Dodd's legendary Studio One in the late sixties. Rhythms that are still used in today's dancehall music. Familiar tunes like the Abyssinians' "Satta Massagana", Johnny Clarke's "None Shall Escape The Judgement", Burning Spear's "Swell Headed" (retitled "Black Disciples"), Augustus Pablo's "King Tubby's Meets The Rockers Uptown" and the Congos' "Congo Man Chant" are mostly given a straightforward acoustic jazz interpretation, wich sometimes delivers an exciting result. We already pointed out that this one definitely is not a reggae album, so if you are a real reggae purist you may be disappointed. But if you have a wider musical view you have to agree that this collection is memorable as a graceful tribute to 30 years of Jamaican composition.

Teacher & Mr. T.