RAMSEY LEWIS

Soul Jazz / Pop/Art Song/Folk / RnB / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Funk Jazz / Vocal Jazz / Exotica / Jazz Related Soundtracks / Hard Bop / Funk • United States
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Biography by Mark Deming

Pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis has been a major figure in contemporary jazz since the late 1950s, playing music with a warm, open personality that's allowed him to cross over to the pop and R&B charts. Lewis was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 27, 1935, and was introduced to music by his father, who directed the choir at a local church and enjoyed the music of Duke Ellington and Art Tatum. Lewis began studying the piano when he was four years old, and was soon accompanying the choir at Sunday services. At the age of 15, he joined a jazz combo called the Cleffs, who played at parties and dances. Lewis was interested in a leaner, more bebop-oriented sound, and when the group splintered after several members joined the military, he formed the Ramsey Lewis Trio with two other former Cleffs, bassist Eldee Young, and percussionist Redd
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Sound Of ChristmasSound Of Christmas
Verve 2004
$7.82
$11.50 (used)
More Sounds of ChristmasMore Sounds of Christmas
Verve 2019
$11.88
$8.68 (used)
The Greatest Hits of Ramsey LewisThe Greatest Hits of Ramsey Lewis
MCA Records 1989
$5.11
$3.88 (used)
Sun GoddessSun Goddess
Legacy 2008
$3.79
$1.99 (used)
Legacy / Ramsey / Chance Encounter / Live At The SavoyLegacy / Ramsey / Chance Encounter / Live At The Savoy
Beat Goes on Records 2018
$11.70
$15.39 (used)
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RAMSEY LEWIS Discography

RAMSEY LEWIS albums / top albums

RAMSEY LEWIS Ramsey Lewis And His Gentlemen Of Swing album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ramsey Lewis And His Gentlemen Of Swing
Soul Jazz 1956
RAMSEY LEWIS Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen Of Jazz - Volume 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen Of Jazz - Volume 2
Soul Jazz 1958
RAMSEY LEWIS Consider the Source album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Consider the Source
Soul Jazz 1959
RAMSEY LEWIS More Music From The Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
More Music From The Soul
Soul Jazz 1961
RAMSEY LEWIS Bossa Nova album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bossa Nova
Soul Jazz 1962
RAMSEY LEWIS Barefoot Sunday Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Barefoot Sunday Blues
Soul Jazz 1963
RAMSEY LEWIS Choice album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Choice
Soul Jazz 1965
RAMSEY LEWIS Wade in the Water album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Wade in the Water
Soul Jazz 1966
RAMSEY LEWIS The Movie Album album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Movie Album
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1966
RAMSEY LEWIS Goin' Latin album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Goin' Latin
Exotica 1966
RAMSEY LEWIS Dancing In The Street album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dancing In The Street
Soul Jazz 1967
RAMSEY LEWIS Up Pops album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Up Pops
Soul Jazz 1967
RAMSEY LEWIS Maiden Voyage album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Maiden Voyage
Soul Jazz 1968
RAMSEY LEWIS Mother Nature's Son album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mother Nature's Son
Exotica 1968
RAMSEY LEWIS Another Voyage album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Another Voyage
Soul Jazz 1969
RAMSEY LEWIS Them Changes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Them Changes
Soul Jazz 1970
RAMSEY LEWIS Tobacco Road album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tobacco Road
Soul Jazz 1970
RAMSEY LEWIS Ramsey Lewis, The Piano Player album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ramsey Lewis, The Piano Player
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1970
RAMSEY LEWIS Back To The Roots album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Back To The Roots
Soul Jazz 1971
RAMSEY LEWIS Upendo Ni Pamoja album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Upendo Ni Pamoja
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1972
RAMSEY LEWIS Funky Serenity album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Funky Serenity
RnB 1973
RAMSEY LEWIS Sun Goddess album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Sun Goddess
Funk Jazz 1974
RAMSEY LEWIS Solar Wind album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Solar Wind
Soul Jazz 1974
RAMSEY LEWIS Don't It Feel Good album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Don't It Feel Good
Funk 1975
RAMSEY LEWIS Salongo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Salongo
RnB 1976
RAMSEY LEWIS Love Notes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Notes
Funk Jazz 1977
RAMSEY LEWIS Tequila Mockingbird album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tequila Mockingbird
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1977
RAMSEY LEWIS Legacy album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
Legacy
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1978
RAMSEY LEWIS Ramsey album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ramsey
RnB 1979
RAMSEY LEWIS Routes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Routes
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1980
RAMSEY LEWIS Three Piece Suite album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Three Piece Suite
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1981
RAMSEY LEWIS Chance Encounter album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chance Encounter
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1982
RAMSEY LEWIS Les Fleurs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Les Fleurs
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1983
RAMSEY LEWIS The Two Of Us (with Nancy Wilson) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Two Of Us (with Nancy Wilson)
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1984
RAMSEY LEWIS Fantasy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fantasy
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1985
RAMSEY LEWIS Keys to the City album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Keys to the City
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1987
RAMSEY LEWIS Hang On Sloopy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hang On Sloopy
Soul Jazz 1988
RAMSEY LEWIS Classic Encounter (Philharmonic Orchestra James Mack) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Classic Encounter (Philharmonic Orchestra James Mack)
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1988
RAMSEY LEWIS We Meet Again (with Billy Taylor) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
We Meet Again (with Billy Taylor)
Hard Bop 1989
RAMSEY LEWIS Urban Renewal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Urban Renewal
RnB 1989
RAMSEY LEWIS Blues For The Night Owl album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues For The Night Owl
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1990
RAMSEY LEWIS Ivory Pyramid album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Ivory Pyramid
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1992
RAMSEY LEWIS Sky Islands album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sky Islands
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1993
RAMSEY LEWIS Between the Keys album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Between the Keys
RnB 1995
RAMSEY LEWIS Dance of the Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dance of the Soul
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1998
RAMSEY LEWIS Appassionata album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Appassionata
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1999
RAMSEY LEWIS Meant to Be album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Meant to Be
Vocal Jazz 2002
RAMSEY LEWIS Simple Pleasures album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Simple Pleasures
Vocal Jazz 2003
RAMSEY LEWIS Time Flies album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Time Flies
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2004
RAMSEY LEWIS Songs From the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Songs From the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2009
RAMSEY LEWIS Ramsey Taking Another Look album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Ramsey Taking Another Look
Funk Jazz 2011
RAMSEY LEWIS Ramsey Lewis & Urban Knights VII album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ramsey Lewis & Urban Knights VII
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2019

RAMSEY LEWIS EPs & splits

RAMSEY LEWIS live albums

RAMSEY LEWIS In Chicago album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Chicago
Soul Jazz 1960
RAMSEY LEWIS At The Bohemian Caverns album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At The Bohemian Caverns
Soul Jazz 1964
RAMSEY LEWIS The In Crowd album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The In Crowd
Soul Jazz 1965
RAMSEY LEWIS The Groover album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Groover
Soul Jazz 1972
RAMSEY LEWIS Solid Ivory album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Solid Ivory
Soul Jazz 1974
RAMSEY LEWIS Live at the Savoy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Savoy
Soul Jazz 1982
RAMSEY LEWIS With One Voice album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
With One Voice
RnB 2005

RAMSEY LEWIS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

RAMSEY LEWIS A Conversation With Ramsey Lewis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Conversation With Ramsey Lewis
Soul Jazz 1981

RAMSEY LEWIS re-issues & compilations

RAMSEY LEWIS Inside album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Inside
Soul Jazz 1972
RAMSEY LEWIS The Greatest Hits of Ramsey Lewis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Greatest Hits of Ramsey Lewis
Soul Jazz 1973
RAMSEY LEWIS Golden Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Golden Hits
Soul Jazz 1973
RAMSEY LEWIS Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live
Soul Jazz 1989
RAMSEY LEWIS Wade in the Water album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wade in the Water
Soul Jazz 1993
RAMSEY LEWIS Consider the Source album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Consider the Source
Soul Jazz 1995
RAMSEY LEWIS This Is Jazz, No.27 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
This Is Jazz, No.27
Soul Jazz 1997
RAMSEY LEWIS Priceless Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Priceless Jazz
Soul Jazz 1998
RAMSEY LEWIS Ramsey Lewis's Finest Hour album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ramsey Lewis's Finest Hour
Soul Jazz 2000
RAMSEY LEWIS Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water
Soul Jazz 2002
RAMSEY LEWIS 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Ramsey Lewis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Ramsey Lewis
Soul Jazz 2002
RAMSEY LEWIS The Movie Album / Dancing In The Street album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Movie Album / Dancing In The Street
Soul Jazz 2010
RAMSEY LEWIS Plays the Beatles Songbook album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Plays the Beatles Songbook
Soul Jazz 2010
RAMSEY LEWIS The Essential album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Essential
Soul Jazz 2014
RAMSEY LEWIS Wrappin' It Up album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wrappin' It Up
Soul Jazz 2015
RAMSEY LEWIS Hot Dawgit: The Anthology, The Columbia Years album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hot Dawgit: The Anthology, The Columbia Years
Soul Jazz 2016
RAMSEY LEWIS Black Eye Peas album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Eye Peas
Soul Jazz 2017
RAMSEY LEWIS The Early Years 1956-59 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Early Years 1956-59
Soul Jazz 2019

RAMSEY LEWIS singles (0)

RAMSEY LEWIS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

RAMSEY LEWIS Reviews

RAMSEY LEWIS Ivory Pyramid

Album · 1992 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Its hard to think of another jazz musician, outside of George Benson, who has released as many high level pop jazz recordings as Ramsey Lewis. Ramsey is probably one of the top pianists of the modern jazz era, but he has always been more of a crowd pleaser than an adventurer, but that doesn’t mean his playing is light weight at all. “Ivory Pyramid”, released in 1992, is typical of Lewis’ repertoire with masterful renditions of tunes he wrote plus a few covers.

Lewis’ career has often centered around a mix of pop, jazz and gospel and “Ivory Pyramid” continues this legacy. A lot of jazz fans who are not familiar with contemporary (post 70s) gospel music may not recognize the sound of the ensemble on here, but it is very similar to what you would find in African-American churches all across the US. The instrumental makeup of this group is Lewis’ grand piano, plus an electric multi-keyboardist, bassist, guitarist, drummer and an unmistakably gospel choir for one track. To add to this CD’s appeal, there are no over dubs, every thing is played live in the studio and usually recorded on just one take. The rhythms and sound on here are very much within the modern gospel context too with the rhythms being rooted in 70s-80s RnB, soul and funk with very little trace of hip-hop. Likewise, bassist Charles Webb employs the 70s sophisticated slap-pop sound that has found a permanent niche in the church.

Lewis’ grand piano on here has a great full recorded sound and his playing is in top notch form too. If you are a fan of Lewis, you will get to hear plenty of virtuoso piano playing and although this is a pop album, he doesn’t hold back, especially on the umpteenth remake of “Tequila Mockingbird” on which he unleashes an energetic dissonant virtuoso solo with some definite Afro-Cuban leanings. Other top cuts include the moody and mellow sophisto-blues sounds of “Sarah Jane” and the album’s title track. Also, the upbeat rockin melody of “Malachi” recalls the classic high energy pop of his 60s hits like “In Crowd” and “Hang on Sloopy”.

RAMSEY LEWIS Wade in the Water

Album · 1966 · Soul Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
‘Wade in the Water’ was the third installment in a trio of very lucrative popular soul jazz party records by virtuoso gospel flavored jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis and his trio. By the time we get to this third record the formula has been set for most of the tunes; a recent popular melody played with a pronounced back beat that features tambourine, and possibly hand claps from a live audience, followed by a middle section with a two-chord jam session in which Lewis plays the crowd pleasing gospel flavored blues piano licks, and then a return to the main theme but with more piano fills.

Although this record was commercial for its time, I think this has aged very nicely. In short, this is really fun groovy music that doesn’t demand too much from you and still delivers much more than just a pop song. If you like 60s instrumental jazz/RnB records, this one is a classic.

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