416

Ramsey Lewis: Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis: Showcase

Greg Thomas By

Sign in to view read count
Ramsey Lewis: Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis: Showcase Jazz is virtually nonexistent on network television. Pianist and broadcaster Ramsey Lewis has addressed this vacuum with the PBS program Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis. This Showcase CD/DVD set serves as a sampler of performances from the series. The end result is a patchwork of genres.

Benny Golson captivates on the classic "Killer Joe ; Clark Terry's "Mumbles is hilarious. Seeing Ivan Lins perform his Brazilian hit "The Island is moving. Solo piano pieces by Chick Corea ("Armando's Rhumba) and Lewis (Coltrane's "Dear Lord ) are rendered with verve and tenderness, respectively. Perhaps the most exciting number—and longest at over five minutes—is Dave Valentin's "Obsession, on which he plays flute in his inimitable percussive style.

Popular trumpeter Chris Botti evokes Chet Baker on "My Funny Valentine, but his own voice struggles to come through. A showcase for electric bass giant Marcus Miller, joined by George Duke and Lee Ritenour on Miller's "The Panther, seems out of place.

The most interesting aspect of the series is the way it brings together musicians not usually paired on the same instrument or genre. Al Jarreau and Kurt Elling's version of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five is exhilarating, yet the coupling of Brubeck and Billy Taylor on the Ellington theme song "Take the 'A' Train is lackluster. Gershwin's "They Can't Take That Away From Me brings together sensual vocalist Jane Monheit and guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli, whose scatting guitar solo sounds like George Benson-lite.

The highlights of this high production value set are altoists Phil Woods and David Sanborn. On Horace Silver's "Señor Blues, Sanborn's piercing style is a fine contrast to Woods' flowing virtuosity, infused with blues and bebop, but Woods comes out on top.

Visit Legends of Jazz on the web.


Track Listing: Take Five; My Funny Valentine; The Panther; Se

Personnel: Al Jarreau, Kurt Elling: vocals; Chris Botti: trumpet; Marcus Miller: electric bass, George Duke: piano, Lee Ritenour: piano; Dave Sanborn, Phil Woods: alto sax; Chick Corea: piano; Robert Cray, Keb Mo': guitar and vocals; Benny Golson: tenor sax; Ivan Lins: piano and vocals; Clark Terry: trumpet; Jane Monheit: vocals, John Pizzarelli: guitar and vocals; Dave Valentin: flute; Dave Brubeck, Dr. Billy Taylor, Ramsey Lewis: piano.

Title: Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis: Showcase | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: LRS Media


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Swong" CD/LP/Track Review Swong
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Shock Axis" CD/LP/Track Review Shock Axis
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Punch" CD/LP/Track Review Punch
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Sweet Ruby Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Sweet Ruby Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.