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Ed Lewis

Ed Lewis had a rather odd career. In his early days he was considered a strong soloist and yet, because of his excellent reading skills and a wide range, he rarely soloed after the early 1930s. Lewis outlived most of his contemporaries and had long periods where he worked very steadily, but strangely enough, his technical skills doomed him to obscurity. Early on he played baritone horn with Jerry Westbrook's band in Kansas City in 1924, but the following year he wisely switched to trumpet. After brief stints with the groups of Paul Banks and Laura Rucker, Lewis was a key player with the Bennie Moten Orchestra (1926-1932) where he was the main trumpet soloist (a bit influenced by Bix Beiderbecke), at least until Hot Lips Page joined the band. After leaving Moten, Lewis was a member of big bands led by Thamon Hayes (1932-1934), Harlan Leonard (1934-1937) and Jay McShann (1937). Lewis worked with Count Basie's Orchestra for a long stretch (1937-1948), appearing on many records but taking virtually no solos; his one main contribution (other than his stability) was writing "It's Sand, Man!" When the Basie years ended, Lewis worked for a time as a cab driver but from the mid-'50s on, he generally led his own low-profile band in New York. Ed Lewis (who never led his own record date) did emerge a little bit near the end of his life when he toured Europe with the Countsmen in 1984, but he deserved many more opportunities decades earlier to display his talents. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Alan Lomax Collection: Southern Journey: Bad Man Ballads, Vol. 5

1. Jesse James

2. Po' Lazarus

3. Railroad Bill

4. John Henry

5. Willie Brennan

6. Hangman Tree

7. Columbus Stockade

11. Claude Allen

12. Cole Younger

14. Tom Devil

15. Hawkins County Jail

17. Po' Lazarus

x

Track List: Broadcasting The Blues: Black Blues In The Segregation Era

Disc 1

1. Baby, Please Don't Go

2. Match Box Blues

3. Yonder Come The Blues

4. Yellow Dog Blues

5. Walkin' Blues

7. My Soul Is A Witness

8. Long Hot Summer Days

9. Lucky Holler

10. Penitentiary Moan

11. Old Country Stomp

12. Dry Bone Shuffle

13. Mysterious Coon

15. You Shall

17. I Heard The Voice Of A Porkchop

18. Spike Driver Blues

20. Fare Thee Well Blues

21. Poor Boy, Long Ways From Home

22. Travelin' Blues

Disc 2

1. Chocolate To The Bone

3. Tennessee Dog

5. Washboard Cut-Out

6. Flying Crows Blues

7. Rules And Regulations 'Signed Razor Jim'

8. Ground Hog Blues

10. Wednesday Evening She Left Me

11. Lonesome Day Blues

14. Black, Brown And White

15. Pratt City Blues

16. Blues Before Sunrise

17. Blues Trip Me This Morning

18. Poor Man Blues

20. My Black Mama - Part I

21. Cotton Pickin' Blues

23. Number 29

24. Jim Crow Blues

Disc 3

1. Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues

3. Policy Dream Blues

4. North Memphis Blues

6. They Ain't Walkin' No More

7. Ice Pick Blues

9. Parchman Farm Blues

10. Shelby County Workhouse Blues

11. Working On The Project

13. Let's Have A New Deal

14. Tallahatchie River Blues

15. St. Louis Cyclone Blues

17. Fire Department Blues

18. Give Me A 32-30

20. Build A Cave

21. Crying Mother Blues

23. The Dirty Dozen

24. Three Ball Blues

25. Milk Cow Blues

26. Cool Drink Of Water Blues

27. Some Summer Day

28. Make Me A Pallet On The Floor

30. Spirit Of Boogie Woogie

31. Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room

Comments

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