Ernest Ranglin has one of those split personalities. A native of Jamaica, he contributed his guitar work to countless ska sessions in the ’50s and later played with famed Jamaican bands such as The Melodians and The Wailers and with Jimmy Cliff. The flip side is his love of jazz. As a genuine guitar virtuoso, he is capable of improvising in the best jazz tradition. His new release on the Telarc label, “Gotcha!” brings these two sides together delightfully.

On top of sleek reggae rhythms, Ranglin lays down lovely guitar explorations of “simple” popular reggae melodies. With support from saxophonist Antonio Hart and pianist Warren Bernhardt, both better known for their jazz chops, Ranglin demonstrates a limitless ability to find new melodies inside the old, while keeping the overall tone island-cool.

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