Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ernest Ranglin in Basingstoke, plus more bad news

Enjoyable show last night at the Anvil, Basingstoke, as Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin continued his farewell tour, supported by 'Friends', including sax player Soweto Kinch, keyboardist Alex Wilson, drummer Tony Allen and Senegalese multi instrumentalist and singer Cheikh Lo. It was a laid back two hour performance during which 84 year old Ernest showed that he is still at the top of his game. Jazz was mixed with some Afrobeat, ska and a little soca and it was much appreciated by the rather small audience.
Ernest is, of course, best known for his work with some of the top Jamaican ska and reggae artists of the sixties. He recorded with Prince Buster, Theophilus Beckford, Jimmy Cliff, Eric Morris, and the Melodians, among others, and played guitar on Millie's My Boy Lollipop. When he moved to the UK he recorded for Chris Blackwell's Island label and moved towards Latin Caribbean-fused jazz. Hopefully this won't be the last chance we get to see him perform. He still has what it takes, that's for sure.
Sadly there have been more music deaths, the most significant being another hugely influential guitarist Scotty Moore, whose work with Elvis Presley at Sun and RCA was such an important ingredient in Elvis Presley's success. His career began when he formed a group The Starlite Ramblers in Memphis, with bassist Bill Black, and began working with Sam Phillips at Sun. He worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, Dale Hawkins, Carl Perkins and Charlie Rich and, later, with Billy Swan. He was also a producer, his first success being Tragedy by Thomas Wayne in 1958, and recorded a couple of solo albums, including The Guitar That Changed The World in 1964. My photo shows Scotty at the Ponderosa Stomp in 2005 when he played with Billy Swan.

The Vinyl Word also raises a glass to swamp pop drummer and singer Clint West, who was frontman for the Fabulous Boogie Kings and also recorded solo for the Jin label, with tracks such as Big Blue Diamonds and Please Mr Jeweler. He first recorded in the late fifties and was one of the most important figures in Louisiana swamp pop.
Also to James Wright, founding member of soul group The Spellbinders. RIP to them all.


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