from The Seattle Times

Reggae giant Ernest Ranglin plays rare Seattle gig | Concert review

By Charles R. Cross

Ernest Ranglin performed at Nectar, in Seattle, Saturday, Aug.

Guitarist Ernest Ranglin, one of the founders of ska and reggae guitar style, gave a rare performance in Seattle Saturday, Aug. 1.

If ever there was a “once in a blue moon” concert, it was Saturday night’s show at Nectar by Jamaican guitar legend Ernest Ranglin. The club billed the night as Ranglin’s first Seattle appearance, but backstage, the guitarist said he thought he may have played here before — perhaps with a jazz band, perhaps as a reggae artist, or maybe with a world music band.

If, at 83, Ranglin’s memory is a bit hazy, that can be forgiven considering his lengthy, multi-phased career. In an informal interview, he talked about his first records in the fifties, and his own influences, which included jazz great Charlie Christian.

But when Ranglin came onstage, his musical memory was flawless. Over the course of a 90-minute set with Avila, he put on a clinic that touched on jazz, ska and, most certainly, reggae guitar.

Though he’s modest, Ranglin was one of the inventors of reggae and played with Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. Saturday he skipped their repertoire, and stuck to reggae classics like “Satta Masa Ghana.”

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