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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ranky Tanky: Good Time

Read "Good Time" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Why change a winning formula? Ranky Tanky's follow-up to their hit debut album takes things further in the same vein: a heady mix of gospel and traditional Gullah songs from the Sea Islands of South Carolina, laced with original music and lyrics. The emphasis this time is on a pounding beat generated by the electric guitar of lone white man Clay Ross and the drumming of Quentin Baxter. Much of the music, especially “Pay Me My Money ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ranky Tanky: Good Time

Read "Good Time" reviewed by John Bricker

The West African phrase Ranky Tanky roughly translates to “get funky" or “work it," according to the band's website. The band earns this title with danceable blends of gospel and jazz, celebrating the Gullah culture found in their home state of South Carolina. Although Good Time delivers more infectious energy than their self-titled debut, Ranky Tanky fails to leave a lasting impression due to weak arrangements and lackluster lyrics. In 2017, Ranky Tanky's first album introduced their unique ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ranky Tanky: Ranky Tanky

Read "Ranky Tanky" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Ranky Tanky are based in Charleston, South Carolina. They specialize in jazz-and blues-influenced arrangements of the traditional music of the Gullah people, who came from West Africa as slaves in the 19th century. They were brought to South Carolina's Low Country and Sea Islands to work on plantations where their knowledge of rice cultivation could be put to good use and where high humidity and mosquitoes made life unbearable for whites and blacks from elsewhere in Africa. Best-known descendant of ...

PROFILES

Ranky Tanky: African Rhythms Preserved

Read "Ranky Tanky: African Rhythms Preserved" reviewed by Martin McFie

Liberia, the West African country named for freedom, was partly financed by wealthy Americans as a haven for people who escaped enslavement. Its capital Monrovia was named for US President Monroe. The Gola (also called Gula) tribe are indigenous to the northern borderlands of Liberia with Sierra Leone. The Gola people are farmers who weave swamp grass, grow rice, corn and okra as their staple food. The comparison to the American Carolina Gullah traditions of eating rice, corn ground into ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ranky Tanky: Ranky Tanky

Read "Ranky Tanky" reviewed by James Nadal

Against all odds, the Gullah tradition prevails on the Sea Islands of South Carolina's Low Country. Maintaining their West African traditions and singular way of life for generations, their direct impact on African-American music is undeniable, and continues to be a vital source of inspiration. Combining revered Gullah kinship with a jazz sensibility, Ranky Tanky accentuates the spirituality connected to the ring shouts and praise houses, proposing a modern rendition of their ancestral music. Ranky Tanky loosely translates ...


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