Ranky Tanky’s soulful blend comes alive: Video

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The appeal of any art form is to take one to another place, perhaps a place never seen or heard before.

For Ranky Tanky, that transporting power comes from a mixture of ingredients: the Gullah culture of the Carolinas, griot stories, poems and children’s rhymes. Those elements further combine with an incendiary blend of gospel, folk and jazz that gives the group both youth and depth.

Loosely defined, Ranky Tanky means “get funky.” The five members of the band — drummer Quentin Baxter, guitarist and vocalist Clay Ross, trumpeter and vocalist Charlton Singleton, bassist Kevin Hamilton and vocalist Quiana Parler — brought the fire from their latest recording, Good Time, to Morning Jazz, with a preview of what’s in store at the Blue Note in New York tonight and Wednesday.

Quentin E. Baxter – drums
Kevin Hamilton – bass
Quiana Parler – vocalist
Clay Ross – guitar/vocals
Charlton Singleton – trumpet/vocals

“Ranky Tanky, from Charleston, S.C., sings old Gullah songs — some of them sly moral lessons — in arrangements that connect their beat to a New Orleans lilt.” – New York Times

“The biggest surprise of [GlobalFEST], Ranky Tanky proved that exotic music can be both unfamiliar enough to be surprising, and yet familiar enough to provoke swinging hips and nodding heads. When it works, it’s the best of both worlds.” – Paste Magazine

“This group isn’t bound to any one particular musical genre, and it is grounded instead by an enigmatic, unshakeable and unspoiled tradition that’s long been hidden in plain sight.”

Quiana Parler performing with Ranky Tanky on Morning Jazz.

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