Bass and lead never had so much exuberance and excitement associated with each other as in Telarc Records’ 2005 release of Ernest Ranglin’s "Surfin,’" a Jamaican gem entrapped in a jewel case. The flow and arrangements of this ride expand on all levels of the imagination and creativity of Mr. Ranglin. "Surfin’" is a very strong piece out of the box.
What is so appealing is the constant inter-twining of the world music psyche with that of jazz flavoring, and the exciting concept becomes reality. This, ladies and gentleman of jazz, is innovation! While "Surfin’" spins, catch the wave that the brass sections offer. Surfside is one cut that showcases this event. Catch the conversion from the strings of Mr. Ranglin to the sax of Dean Fletcher. They never skip a beat throughout. It’s effortlessly smooth. This compositional technique is also showcased in These Times, as well as others.
Dancing Mood II is a most enjoyable listen. Introducing the vocals of Floyd Lloyd Seivright was an audio treat, upbeat and lively tones. The string work, as with all his work, drives the mood and keeps the pieces together, as is evident with this cut.
No comment needed on the string supremacy of Mr. Ranglin. Just encounter it!
With all of what Mr. Ranglin records and produces, messages are attached. After several well earned spins, one message is clear - that of celebration. It is what it is, different for each of us. Whether this was his exact significance to be sent out from this project is unclear. However, for those who listen, "Surfin’" will have an impact on you in a very positive way. Hit the button. Enjoy the surf!