Archive for the Ramsey LEWIS Category

Ramsey LEWIS – Live In Tokyo 1968

Posted in JAZZ, Ramsey LEWIS on December 20, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Ramsey LEWIS – Live In Tokyo 1968
Recorded live in the Sankei Hall in Tokyo in 1968.
SMJ-7501

Jazz

Pianist Ramsey Lewis has probably symbolized a style and a truly personified Epoque. The 60s, for the latter: those of a certain “reckless”! As for style, immediately recognizable: that of a classical trio but who engages in unsolicited benefits obvious, irresistible swing.
Indeed, in those years, this trio was especially delighted the clubs where you jerk, all night long (believe me, I personally attest!): The greatest hits of the Trio frequently came from themselves, they were recorded, mostly in those environments “live” wisely overheated!
**
Ramsey Lewis- Piano, Keyboards
Cleveland Eaton- Bass
Maurice White- Drums
**
A1. The In Crowd
A2. Cecille
A3. Unchain My Heart
04. What The World Needs Now
A5. Song For My Father
B1. Soul Ginza
B2. Hang On Sloopy
B3. Ode To Billy Joe
B4. Wade In The Water
**
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Ramsey LEWIS Trio – Country Meets the Blues 1962

Posted in JAZZ, Ramsey LEWIS on December 3, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Ramsey LEWIS Trio – Country Meets the Blues 1962
Argo LP 701
Thx To  *Prestontw*

Jazz

The divide between popular taste and elite critical opinion in jazz is amply illustrated by the career of pianist Ramsey Lewis. Lewis has consistently drawn large audiences and numerous record buyers over more than 45 years of musical activity, but since the appearance of his hit (Country Meets the Blues 1962) than (The In Crowd 1965) album, he has been criticized by many jazz writers for what they have considered excessive commercialism. Yet Lewis, who became well known to Chicago radio audiences in the late 1990s as an on-air jazz show host, set the tone for many of the successful jazz-pop fusions that followed his own 1960s breakthroughs. Ignoring critical orthodoxy, he became an unusually influential musician.
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Oliver Nelson- (Reeds Side Arrange) Lew Douglas (Strings Arrenge)
Ramsey Lewis- Piano
Red Holt- Drums
Eldee Young- Bass, Reeds, Strings
Unknown Vocals
**
A1. Your Cheatin’ Heart
A2. 2St. Louis Blues
A3. Blueberry Hill
A4. Country Meets the Blues
A5. Memphis in June
B1. High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me)
B2. I Need You So
B3. Just Want to Make Love to You
B4. Tangleweed ‘Round My Heart
B5. My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It
**

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Ramsey LEWIS – Love Notes 1977

Posted in JAZZ, Ramsey LEWIS on November 27, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Ramsey LEWIS – Love Notes 1977
PC 34696

Jazz

Next to Don’t It Feel Good this has to be Ramsey Lewis’s funkiest albums of the 70’s. It’s the same group that he maintained during his mid to late 70’s years on Columbia. Wheras that album had featured Earth Wind & Fire as predominant guests in the same way as ‘Sun Goddess’ this album is based around Stevie Wonder. He contributed two terrific songs. One was the terrific opener “Spring High”,a song which captures the very best of his ‘Songs in the Key of Life Era’ and the most ear catching featuring is the bouncing sound they get on the electric piano-probably some type of pitch modulation. The title track finds Stevie streching out a lot more on this as he and Ramsey trade of hands on Arp and electric piano.It’s more of a slower burning build but puts the styles of both musicians strongly to the test and wins every time. Much of the remainder of the music here was written by multi instrumentalist Derf Reklaw Raheem who provides much of the rhythm section and collective vocals on some heavily funky songs such as “Shining” and “Stash Dash”. The best part of this album is that it presents it’s funk as music of variety,just the way it should be. “Love Theme From A Star Is Born” should’ve been very schlocky but what this rhythm section did to it,even if he’d passed by this time so reflected the influence of Charles Stepney that it actually transcended the compositions intention. “Chile Today,Hot Tamale” brings in the percussion section real heavy for Ramsey’s interpretation of the afro latin groove in funk. “The Messenger” is such a deep song that is heavily represents this album on the compilation album Electric Collection-the volume,the tempo and the harmonic ideas just build from this soft mysterious flavor into this fevered frenzy by songs end. Sadly having been long forgotton this should be held in extremely high esteem in Ramsey’s catalog.I’ve been listening to this album for years on vinyl and having heard all the sonic qualities of the grooves,melodies and musicianship of this album digitallly enhanced rather than changed for loudness purposes it’s even more of a treasure.
By Andres S. Grindle.
**
A great little album of mid 70s funk from Ramsey Lewis – very much in the mode of his Earth, Wind, & Fire related work – no surprise, since the album’s dedicated to Charles Stepney, whose influence was such a key part of the sound of the group, and of some of Ramsey’s other Kalimba-produced albums from a few years before! Ramsey plays Fender Rhodes, mini moog, and Arp – and he gets help on keyboards from Stevie Wonder and Derf Reklaw, who also plays saxes and percussion on the set. Features versions of Wonder’s “Love Notes” and “Spring High”, plus Reklaw’s “Chili Today Hot Tamale”, “Shining”, and “Stash Dash”.
From Dusty Groove.
**
Love Notes is another fine moment from Ramsey Lewis’ funkier period. On here he has moved slightly away from the straighter funk sound he used on Don’t It Feel Good, and gone for that real authentic jazz-funk sound that was evolving around this time. The opener “Spring High” is a total monster of a tune and not just the high-point of this album, but possibly the real-high point in the whole jazz-funk genre. Apart from the last two tracks “The Messenger” and “Stash Dash” which are either irritating electro funk or just downright bad, all the rest of the tracks are great groovers. From the beautiful and mellow “Love Theme From A Star Is Born (Evergreen)” that has the most brilliantly subtle rhythm guitar going through it, to the up-tempo latin influenced “Chili Today, Hot Tamale” which is a guaranteed invigorator of a tune, everything apart from the final two tracks make for a funky jazz classic.
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Ramsey Lewis- Keyboards
Jimmy Bryant- Keyboards, Vocals, Clavinet
Rahmlee Michael Davis- Horn
Terry Fryer- Synthesizer, Keyboards
Byron Gregory- Guitar
Derf Reklaw Raheem- Percussion, Vocals
Stevie Wonder- Synthesizer, Keyboards
Dert Recklaw Raheem- Flute, Bongos, Conga, Piano (Electric), Sax (Alto), Timbales, Vocals
Michael Davis- Trumpet, Vocals
Ron Harris- Bass
Keith Howard- Drums
**
Arranged By – Byron Gregory (tracks: A1, B2 to B4) ,
Derf Reklaw Raheem* (tracks: A1, B2 to B4) ,
Keith Howard (2) (tracks: A1, B2 to B4) ,
Ramsey Lewis (tracks: A1, B2 to B4) ,
Ron Harris (2) (tracks: A1, B2 to B4)
**
A1. Spring High  4:16
A2. Love Theme From “A Star Is Born” (Evergreen)  4:28
A3. Shining  4:37
B1. Love Notes  6:17
B2. Chili Today, Hot Tamale  5:10
B3. The Messenger  5:15
B4. Stash Dash  4:51
**

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Ramsey LEWIS Trio – Barefoot Sunday Blues 1963

Posted in JAZZ, Ramsey LEWIS on November 19, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Ramsey LEWIS Trio – Barefoot Sunday Blues 1963
LP 723

Jazz

One of the strongest early albums by the Ramsey Lewis Trio – especially because it features some great original material! The group – with the usual Redd Holt and Eldee Young lineup – is augmented by Chris White on a few tracks, who plays bass while Young switches to cello, an instrument that he played better in jazz than just about anyone. Apart from the group’s great title reading of Cannonball Adderley’s “Barefoot Sunday Blues”, the record also features original tracks “The Train Won’t Wait”, “Come On Baby”, “I Spend My Life”, “Act Like You Mean It”, “Salute To Ray Charles”, and “Don’t Even Kick It Around”. Also includes Charles Lloyd’s evocative composition “Island Blues”.
From Dusty Groove.
**
Melodious & steady swinging trio effort by Ramsey Lewis, piano, Eldee Young (Christopher White Lonley Avenue & Act Like You Mean It), bass/cello and Red Holt, drums. The tunes are blues based with gospel/soul influences & the trio plays close together with dreamlike rapport.
**
A1. Lonely Avenue   2:56
A2. Don’t Even Kick It Around   4:26
A3. Salute to Ray Charles   5:51
A4. Barefoot Sunday Blues   3:35
A5. Island Blues   2:47
B1. I Spend My Life   3:42
B2. Act Like You Mean It   2:23
B3. Sarah Jane   5:20
B4. The Train Won’t Wait   3:02
B5. Come on Baby   2:30
** Continue reading

Ramsey LEWIS Trio – Appassionata 1999

Posted in JAZZ, Ramsey LEWIS on November 18, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Ramsey LEWIS Trio – Appassionata 1999

Jazz

This 1999 release showcases the diverse pianist, Ramsey Lewis, in a more straight-ahead jazz environment. Concentrating much of his career on blending together pop and jazz to create (essentially) easy listening music, it’s nice to hear Lewis return to his roots in a traditional jazz setting. Teamed up with fellow Chicago natives Larry Gray (acoustic bass) and Ernie Adams (drums), Lewis and company render very memorable and thoughtful arrangements of a number of classical compositions including “Pavane” by Gabriel Faure, “E Lucevan le Stelle” by Giacomo Puccini and others. Also heard here are a number of Lewis’ own compositions including “A Song For Jan,” “For The Love of Art,” “Light Along the Path,” and “A Moment Spiritual.” Using jazz as the common denominator, Lewis fuses together elements of classical, gospel and folk to create a rather thought provoking set of music. In fact, Lewis’ bluesy flourishes, set against the backdrop of Gray and Adams’ swingin’ grooves, proves to be most effective.
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As a long time Ramsey Lewis fan,I should not be surprised how Ramsey consistently puts out quality music.But he continues to amaze me and Appassionata is another quality effort by a musical legend. P.S I’m trying to locate” Mothers Nature Song ” on cd by Ramsey Lewis. It was produce in the early 70’s. I cannot seem to locate it anywhere. Ramsey Lewis should definitely consider putting this outstanding recording on cd.
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Appassionata is the first album in 15 years to place pianist Ramsey Lewis within a traditional-jazz trio. The album finds Lewis improvising in a straightahead fashion over classical, opera, and spiritual themes, as well as playing his own jazz compositions. “More than any album,” Lewis says, “Appassionata is a snapshot of all I’ve done. From the time I was nine years old, I played in the church and studied European classical music, too. When I was 15, I started playing jazz, and it’s been with me forever. Appassionata centers around those three elements and then some.”
From JAZZIZ Magazine.
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Ramsey Lewis- (Piano);
Larry Gray- (Bass);
Ernie Adams- (Drums).
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01. Pavane ( 5:23)
02. Nessun Dorma ( 7:13)
03. A Song For Jan ( 6:42)
04. E Lucevan Le Stelle ( 6:44)
05. For The Love Of Art ( 3:38)
06. Vesti La Giubba ( 6:53)
07. Close Your Eyes And Remember ( 7:52)
08. Light Along The Path ( 3:49)
09. What Wondrous Love Is This! ( 7:16)
10. A Moment Spiritual (13:05)
**

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