Ramsey Lewis (May 27, 1935 – September 12, 2022) was a jazz pianist and composer born in Chicago, IL. Some of his greatest hits include The ‘In’ Crowd, Hang On Sloopy, and Wade In The Water. Those three barely even scratch the surface. They are, however, three of my favorites from all of the music that he made . . . and he made a lot! A lot, as in over eighty recordings in his lifetime! I’d venture to say that he will be most remembered for his ensemble of three, The Ramsey Lewis Trio, even if only by me. It was rounded out by Isaac Holt (drums) and Eldee Young (bass). Those two left in 1966 and created Young-Holt Unlimited (legends in their own right), and were replaced by Cleveland Eaton (bass) who played on at least thirty (30) recordings with Lewis, and none other than Maurice White (drums), who later became famous as a founding member of Earth, Wind, And Fire. Even after accumulating accolade after accolade, Lewis also became quite well-known as the host of a syndicated radio program titled “Legends Of Jazz“, which began in 1990. It later transformed into a television show. He moved on to The Ramsey Lewis Morning Show (which I remember well!), in his own hometown (Chicago). I was in my teens when I began to love jazz, and one of my very first beloved pianists was his greatness – Ramsey Lewis. Here’s Live in Tokyo (1968). Enjoy.
Jazz, jazz, and nothing but jazz. Well, mostly.
copyright 2023 jblackstarr for SMOOTHE.
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