323

Ramsey Lewis: Songs from the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey

Tom Greenland By

Sign in to view read count
Ramsey Lewis: Songs from the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey Whether considering his style jazzy pop or popular jazz, Chicagoan Ramsey Lewis has always kept one foot firmly in the jazz mainstream, often tapping to a gospel beat. Here the pianist has recorded an all-original set that will satisfy both audiences by mixing classical elegance with blues preaching. Backed by veteran colleagues, bassist Larry Gray's technical prowess and drummer Leon Joyce's exuberant beats perfectly complement their leader's serene composure.

Culling tunes he wrote for the ballet To Know Her..., and from a suite for piano trio and string quartet, Lewis presents them in pared-down versions. Tracks like the episodic "To Know Her is to Love Her," the lush, through-composed "Clouds in Reverie," the uptown swagger of "The Way She Smiles" and a pensive solo rendition of "Long Before She Knew"—all from the ballet—demonstrate his encyclopedic grasp of voicings and techniques, delicately expressing his train of musical thought. Rounding out the menu are numbers like "The Spark," "Conversation" and "Rendezvous," varying the mood from gentle to festive.

Live at New York's BB King's (Nov. 28, 2009) only confirmed that little, if anything, of what this talented trio plays needs fixing in the mix. Revisiting "To Know Her," "The Way She Smiles" and "Conversation" along with an arrangement of a movement from Brahms' second symphony, by the fifth number, a Ray Charles-style rendition of "Wade in the Water," things got funky and stayed that way, segueing through spirituals like "Precious Lord," Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday" and "Motherless Child" as well as snippets of soul-jazz standards like "On Broadway," "Listen Hear" and "After Hours." The encore, starting with an obligatory stab at "The In Crowd," followed by a succession of bluesy vamps, more than satisfied the house.


Track Listing: To Know Her Is to Love Her; Touching, Feeling, Knowing; Clouds in Reverie; The Spark; Conversation; The Way She Smiles; Exhilaration; The Glow of Her Charm; Rendezvous; Long Before She Knew; Sharing Her Journey; Watercolors.

Personnel: Ramsey Lewis: piano; Larry Gray: bass; Leon Joyce: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Planet
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "The Day After" CD/LP/Track Review The Day After
by David A. Orthmann
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Moanin'" CD/LP/Track Review Moanin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Blood" CD/LP/Track Review Blood
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "Tales From A Forbidden Land" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From A Forbidden Land
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Groovin' Hard: Live At The Penthouse 1964-1968" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin' Hard: Live At The Penthouse 1964-1968
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!