Toronto has long been known as a hub for Canadian music, attracting bands and performers of all genres but even with Toronto’s musical allure it’s not every day that you hear of a Jamaican jazz legend travelling to T.O in the dead of winter, to record an album. This is however the case with Ernest Ranglin who recorded his latest (and rumoured to be final) studio album at midtown Toronto’s SideDoor Records.
Gaining prowess for their live-off-the-floor recording, Sidedoor Records is recognized as one of the city’s go-to studios for both jazz and reggae which made it a perfect fit for Mr. Ranglin, who is THE creator of the classic Ska / Reggae pick-guitar sound.
Ernest is known for the way he uniquely infuses Latin-Carribbean flavours into his jazz guitar playing which was a great match with Sidedoor’s owner, Everton ‘Pablo’ Paul who also has a long history of blending the same genres.
If you’re not familiar with Ernest’s musical credits, he was the musical director for Bob Marley & The Wailer’s song “It Hurts To Be Alone” and the Melodian’s famed “By The Rivers of Babylon”. But before Ranglin gained those credits to his name, in 1959 when Chris Blackwell formed Island Records, he was the guitar player on the labels first album, Lance Haywood At The Half Moon Hotel, Montego Bay. Ernest was also called upon to compose music for some scenes in the 007 movie Dr. No, that were filmed in Jamaica but you probably wouldn’t know that because he was wrongly credited.
Ranglin’s new album is a classic representation of his distinguishable guitar style that is sure to be a crowd pleaser for long time fans and new ears alike. While the album name has not yet been released, you can check back here for updates or tweet Sidedoor’s lead engineer and guitar aficionado, Shane ‘Shaky J’ Forrest @Shane_Shaky_J to find out the latest on the release of Ernest’s album.