Last month I spoke with legendary guitarist Ernie Ranglin about his recently released album, Two Colors, done with saxophonist Dean Fraser. Because the twelve-track record was produced by both Dean Fraser and Tad ‘Jr. Tads’ Dawkins, I decided to speak with Dean to get some insights on the production. See our full conversation below.
Maria Jackson:Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. I understand that you have a limited amount of time so I will just dive in.
In my recent conversation with Ernie Ranglin he said that you were the one that reached out to him to do this project. So my first question is why Ernie? I understand his musical accomplishments, but there are many other well established musicians in Jamaica, so why did you want to do Two Colors with Ernie Ranglin?
Dean Fraser:There’s no other like him mam, I wanted to do this years ago but never got the chance to, so when Tad Dawkins came to me with the thought, I had to make it happen. This is a special musician and a dream come true for me personally
Maria Jackson:Even though this is an instrumental album, you invited Big Youth on one of the tracks; what was your thinking behind that decision?
Dean Fraser:This just happened while recording the song, we wanted all Jamaica’s music to come out on this project. Jah Youth even though we categorize him as a DJ, I know him personally as a musical genius he listens to everything and knows a lot about Jazz so I chose him to be a guest
Maria Jackson:The titles that you have chosen for the songs on Two Colors are somewhat mysterious because there are no vocals to guide us as we listen. That said, what should we read into the following names: “Mi Nuh Kno,” “Nuh True,” “Sam-Fi,” “Joshua,” “Rangos” and “Papa R”? (I have my own interpretation for all the others)
Dean Fraser:Its Jamaican, so we use Jamaican slangs, terms; so the instrumentals speak for itself. Things Jamaica
Maria Jackson:What has the feedback been like since the full record came out?
Dean Fraser:When Wee Pow calls and says he need a special for Stone Love Sound you know this is a good record… breaking the barriers
Maria Jackson:You are always busy helping other artists in studio and on their shows, will you be doing a promo tour for Two Colors?
Dean Fraser:I have already been asked to do at lease 2 concerts and more will come
Maria Jackson:In my interview with Ernie he said that he hopes this is the start of a lot of collaborations between you two. Can you address that statement?
Dean Fraser:He’s such a humble and creative person I should be the one who’s saying that. It’s all good, we will work together always
Maria Jackson:You are such a musical giant. What drives you?
Dean Fraser:I just want to make good music all the time and we have enough talent in Jamaica to make lots of good music. I think I want to make a dancehall-trap project; it can and will be done
Maria Jackson:Finally, let me say thank you for Two Colors. It is a beautiful body of work that I personally enjoy listening. What do you want your fans and supporters to take away from this record?
Dean Fraser:The record was made with a passion for people to relax and enjoy irrespective of age, color or gender. I want people to drive to and from work listening to a Jamaican record that don’t disturb convo, play in the office, on your way to the country, having a drink, family reunion, just togetherness
Maria Jackson:Thank you Dean…
Dean Fraser: I thank u