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Ramsey Lewis

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 Holt. The trio became a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene, and they were signed to a deal with Chess Records, releasing their first album, Ramsey Lewis & His Gentlemen of Jazz, in 1956. Lewis and his trio continued to record and tour steadily over the years, building a sizable audience among jazz fans, but their career received a serious boost in 1965, when they recorded a swinging version of Dobie Gray's hit "The In Crowd" at a gig in Washington, D.C. Chess released the track as a single, and it became a sizable pop hit, earning Lewis his first gold record, as well as a Grammy award for Best Jazz Performance. As Lewis' star rose, he returned to the pop charts in 1966 with versions of "Hang on Sloopy" and "Wade in the Water." Meanwhile, Young and Holt left Lewis' trio to form their own group, Young-Holt Unlimited, and the pianist hired a new rhythm section, Cleveland Eaton on bass and Maurice White on drums. In 1970, White resigned to form his own group, and Morris Jennings signed on as the trio's new percussionist. Lewis continued to record for Chess until 1972, when he moved to Columbia Records, and as his music developed a more contemporary groove, White's group, Earth, Wind & Fire (also on Columbia), was beginning to enjoy considerable success on the R&B charts. White produced Lewis' 1974 album Sun Goddess, in which he experimented with electronic keyboards for the first time, and several members of EWF played on the sessions; it became a major crossover hit and took Lewis to the upper ranks of the smooth jazz/fusion scene. Lewis would continue to record R&B-influenced material through the '70s, but continued to explore his roots in more traditional jazz sounds as well as Latin rhythms. In 1983, he went into the studio with Eldee Young and Redd Holt again for the album Reunion; in 1984, he collaborated with Nancy Wilson on The Two of Us; in 1988, he recorded with London's Philharmonia Orchestra for the album A Classic Encounter, and in 1989, Lewis and Dr. Billy Taylor cut a set of piano duets, We Meet Again. In 1992, Lewis signed with the successful jazz label GRP Records, and in 1995, he launched the side project Urban Knights, in which he collaborated with a handful of successful crossover jazz stars, including Grover Washington, Jr., Earl Klugh, and Dave Koz. In 1997, Lewis added disc jockey to his résumé, hosting a popular show on Chicago's WNUA-FM that ran until 2009; the show went into syndication in 2006 under the name Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis, and is still on the air. In 2005, Lewis looked back on his roots in gospel music with the album With One Voice, which earned him the Stellar Gospel Music Award for Best Gospel Instrumental Album. In 2007, he was commissioned to write a jazz ballet for the Joffrey Ballet Company, and "To Know Her …" debuted at Highland Park, Illinois' Ravina Music Festival, where Lewis is artistic director of the festival's jazz series, and helped found their Jazz Mentor Program. Lewis has also written several pieces for string ensemble and orchestra that have premiered at Ravina; highlights were featured on the 2009 album Songs from the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey, his first release from Concord Records. In addition to his work as a performer, composer, educator, and disc jockey, Lewis has received five honorary doctorate degrees, won the National Endowment for the Arts' Jazz Master Award in 2007, and is one of the few noted jazz artists to carry the Olympic Torch, having briefly escorted the flame as it passed through Chicago en route to the 2002 Winter Games. ~ Mark Deming
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Ramsey, Taking Another Look

1. Intimacy

2. Tambura

3. Love Song

4. Living For The City

5. Betcha By Golly Wow

7. The Way She Smiles

8. Jungle Strut

9. Sharing Her Journey

10. Sun Goddess

x

Track List: The Very Best Of Ramsey Lewis

1. Julia

2. Les Fleur

3. Sky Islands

4. Jackson Park

5. A Night In Bahia

6. Who Are You?

7. Baile Del Alma (Dance Of The Soul)

8. Sarah Jane

9. Love's Serenade

10. Cante Hondo (Deep Song)

11. Sun Goddess 2000

x

Track List: With One Voice

1. Oh Happy Day (Live)

2. Sunday Strut (Live)

3. Bless Me (Prayer Of Jabez) (Live)

4. Thoughts And Reflections (Live)

5. Pass Me Not (Live)

6. Trees (Live)

7. God Can Work It Out (Live)

8. My Love For You (Live)

9. Healed Heart (Live)

10. Keep The Spirit (Live)

11. With One Voice (Live)

x

Track List: Ramsey Lewis: Love Songs

1. Midnight Rendezvous

2. A Time For Love

3. Nicole

4. The Two Of Us (feat. Nancy Wilson)

5. With A Gentle Touch

6. Juaacklyn

7. Never Wanna Say Goodnight

8. Something About You

9. So Much More

10. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart & It Could Happen To You

11. If Loving You Is Wrong I Don't Want To Be Right

12. I'll Always Dream About You

13. Love Song

14. Please Send Me Someone To Love

x

Track List: Time Flies

1. Poco Allegretto From Symphony #3 In F Major By Johannes Brahms

2. Second Thoughts

3. Wade In The Water

4. Open My Heart

5. Air From Suite #3 By J.S. Bach

6. Hide & Seek

7. Midnight At The Oasis

8. Last Dance

9. Estrellita

10. The In Crowd

11. Hosanna

x

Track List: Appassionata

1. Pavane

2. Nessun Dorma

3. A Song For Jan

4. E Lucevan Le Stelle

5. For The Love Of Art

6. Vesti La Giubba

7. Close Your Eyes And Remember

8. Light Along The Path

9. What Wondrous Love Is This

10. A Moment Spiritual

x

Track List: Ramsey Lewis Trio: In Person 1960 - 1967

Disc 1

1. Old Devil Moon

2. What's New

3. Carmen

4. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen

5. I'll Remember April

6. Delilah

7. Something You've Got

8. Fly Me To The Moon

9. My Babe

10. The Caves

11. The In Crowd

12. Since I Fell For You

13. Theme From Spartacus

14. You've Been Talkin' 'bout Me, Baby

15. Come Sunday

Disc 2

1. A Hard Day's Night

2. He's A Real Gone Guy

3. And I Love Her

4. Movin' Easy

5. The More I See You

6. Satin Doll

7. Hang On Sloopy

8. Dancing In The Street

9. You Don't Know Me

10. Django

11. Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars

12. What Now My Love

13. Black Orpheus Medley

x

Track List: Priceless Jazz

1. The In Crowd

2. I'll Remember April

3. A Night In Bahia

4. Since I Fell For You

5. Apres Vous

6. Django

7. Maiden Voyage

8. Delilah

9. Generique

10. Sun Goddess 2000

11. Wade In The Water

x

Track List: Dance Of The Soul

1. Baile Del Alma (Dance Of The Soul)

2. Fragile

3. Sub Dude

4. Lullaby

5. Portuguese Love

6. Fire And Rain

7. Cancion

8. Love's Serenade

9. Mercy And Grace

10. Cante Hondo (Deep Song)

x

Track List: Consider The Source

1. Carmen

2. I'll Remember April

3. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen

4. My Funny Valentine

5. Dee's New Blues

6. Delilah

7. I Get A Kick Out Of You

8. Please Send Me Someone To Love

9. Black Is The Color

10. It Ain't Necessarily So

11. On The Street Where You Live

12. C.C. Rider

13. Love For Sale

14. I Love Paris

15. Song Of India

16. Walls Of Jericho

17. Consider The Source

x

Track List: Maiden Voyage (And More)

1. Maiden Voyage

2. The Mighty Quinn (Quinn, The Eskimo)

3. Sweet Rain

4. Lady Madonna

5. Do You Know The Way To San Jose

6. Ode

7. Les Fleur

8. Since You've Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby)

9. Only When I'm Dreaming

10. Eternal Journey

11. Mother Nature's Son

12. Julia

13. Goodnight

14. Dear Prudence

x

Track List: Sun Goddess

1. Sun Goddess

2. Living For The City

3. Love Song

4. Jungle Strut

5. Hot Dawgit

6. Tambura

7. Gemini Rising

x

Track List: Goin' Latin

1. Hey, Mrs Jones

2. Summer Samba

3. One, Two, Three

4. Free Again

5. Down By The Riverside

6. Blue Bongo

7. I'll Wait For You

8. Function At The Junction

9. Spanish Grease

10. Lara's Theme (Somewhere My Love)

11. Cast Your Fate To The Wind

x

Track List: The In Crowd

1. The In Crowd (Live)

2. Since I Fell For You

3. Tennessee Waltz

4. You Been Talkin' 'Bout Me Baby (Live)

5. Love Theme From Spartacus

6. Felicidade (Happiness)

7. Motherless Child

8. Come Sunday (Live)

9. The Party's Over

x

Track List: Down To Earth

1. Dark Eyes

2. Come Back To Sorrento

3. Soul Mist

4. John Henry

5. Greensleeves

6. We Blue It

7. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

8. Suzanne

9. Billy Boy

10. Decisions

11. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child (Alternative Take)

12. Come Back To Sorrento (Alternative Take)

13. John Henry (Alternative Take)

14. We Blue It (Alternative Take)

x

Track List: At The Bohemian Caverns In Washington D.C.

1. Somewhere/Maria/Jet Song/Tonight Medley

2. People

3. Something You Got

4. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)

5. My Babe

6. The Caves

7. The Shelter Of Your Arms

x

Track List: Finest Hour

1. The 'In' Crowd

2. Limelight

3. Delilah

4. Black Eye Peas

5. Carmen

6. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

7. Consider The Source

8. Little Liza Jane

9. Here 'Tis

10. Something You Got

11. Hang On Sloopy

12. A Hard Day's Night

13. Hi-Heel Sneakers

14. Wade In the Water

15. Up Tight

16. Day Tripper

17. One, Two, Three

18. Soul Man

x

Track List: The In Crowd (Live At The Bohemian Caverns / Washington D.C.)

1. The "In" Crowd (Live)

2. Since I Fell For You (Live)

3. Tennessee Waltz (Live)

4. You Been Talkin' 'bout Me Baby (Live)

5. Spartacus (Love Theme From) (Live)

6. Felicidade (Happiness) (Live)

7. Come Sunday (Live)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
The sun of godness is a song to remember who created...
Report as inappropriate
This is a perfect day for this song after two days of rain. Thank you.
Report as inappropriate
Always a special treat when this tune is played by Ramsey! I really love this rendition!
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njn8tive277
One of favorite pieces! Absolutely fantabulous! Always gives my spirit a natural boost when hearing this!!!
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WHY THE HECK DOES THUS GUY KEEP PLAYING ON MY DUBSTEP RADIO!?!?!?! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ?
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Wonderful!!! ! ! !
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yoadrianyoja n i c e 1
Good. Afternoon. MR. L. :
How's the. World. Treating
You. ? Hope. You're. Bright
Eyed. Bushy Tail. ! Stand
Tall. Talk. Later
Pampering. My. (. Ulcer. )
Got. To. !
Stage. Left
MS. Jan
God. Bless
Love
Report as inappropriate
yoadrianyoja n i c e 1
Good. Morning. MR. L :
I. Saw. My. Bird. Lovely. As
Always. I. Will. Not. Complain
This. Morning. Will. Try. To
Act. Nice. ! Not. To. Get. On
Your. Last. Nerve. Will. Touch
Base. Later. Have. A. Nice. Day
Stage. Left
MS. Junior
God. Bless

Report as inappropriate
Thank you Heavenly Father for sharing this (Ramsey Lewis) Extraordinar y Angel of Music, Sounds, And Soul. God Bless Mr. Lewis 69 Creiger walk pass your home often as a young lady in the 1960s and 70s.
Report as inappropriate
yoadrianyoja n i c e 1
Good. Morning. MR. L. :
Happy. New. Year. 2016
Keep. Safe. Will. Talk. To
You. Later. Cup. Cake
Stage. Left
MS. JAN
God. Bless
Report as inappropriate
Amen
Report as inappropriate
yoadrianyoja n i c e 1
Good. Morning. MR. L :
We. Need. (. A. Moment. Of
Spirituals. ) right. MR. L
Get. With. It. Sweetie. Pie
Get. The. Lead. Out. You. Can-
Not. Go. Away.
Stage. Left
MS. JAN
God. Bless


Report as inappropriate
yoadrianyoja n i c e 1
Gee. This. Has. Blown. My. Mind
I. Saw. How. To. Follow. I. Can't. Do
Saw. Okay. Deep. One.
Stage. Left
Who. Are. You. ?
God. Bless
Report as inappropriate
yoadrianyoja n i c e 1
Well. Well. I. Heard. My. Song. Thank
You. You're. So. Slick. I. Noticed
You. Found. My. Note. ! I. Will
Note. Give. It. Another. Thought
This. Lady. Dose'nt. Have. A. Clue
Let's. Not. Forget. (. Fragile. )
Please. Where. Is. It. ? Then
I. Can. Have. A. Peaceful. Sleep
For. Real. ! Be. Nice
Talk. Later.
Stage. Left
How. Are. You. ?
God. Bless
Report as inappropriate
yoadrianyoja n i c e 1
Good. Evening. Sir. :
Still. Looking. For. (. Fragile. ). Love
This. Music. I'm. A strange. Person. !
This. Is. Short. And. Sweet. Talk
Later. I. Might. Not. Be. Able. To
Remember. Where. This. Is
Stage. Left
Who. Are. You. ?
God. Bless
Report as inappropriate
Quit being such a hater. ..hmcarringt o n j r . Good music come from all cultures and ethnicities. Get saved. Jess loves you.
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Nice!!!
Report as inappropriate
Mr Lewis whom is a master artist was never pop crossover! pop was some crap music category to help white artist to cross over and rip off r&b sound!
Report as inappropriate
Ramsey is the jazz version of Stevie Wonder; no matter what they write, play or produce, it will be good, popular and will attract their audience and new ones as well. This In Crowd version is just as timeless as the original. The way it fades like it is over and then rises again reminds me of a James Brown move! LOL!
Report as inappropriate
Pandora please add more tracks from this man!! Significant masterpieces missing from his library here. Thx.
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Mr. Lewis is a master of jazz and we are blessed too have him still today
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OLD VERSION IS STILL BETTER !!!!!❤️��
Report as inappropriate
I remember Mister Lewis' "The In Crowd", and when Maurice White left Lewis' Young-Holt Unlimited group to form his own group: E,W & F....
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My theme song !!!!!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
So much great music from Mr.Lewis.... .
Report as inappropriate
One of my favorite for many years. Can't go wrong with this man.
Report as inappropriate
dont read this because it actually works. You will
get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the
love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of
your life. however if you do not post this comment
to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now
youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so
scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143
minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers
name will appear on the screen in big letters this is
scary cuz it actually work
Report as inappropriate
stellaashman
I love love love this song!!!
Report as inappropriate
And Grover Washington Mr Magic Ole School
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Give me Sun Goddess anytime!!!
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Yesss
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Slinky, funky, total mastering of every damn key on the piano. what jazz should always be heard as by all.
Report as inappropriate
My jam when I as kid. Mom and dad always played this one. Very talented man.
Report as inappropriate
Ramsey is timeless and so is his music.... I have always loved his music since the 60's. I have him on LP's, Reel to Reel, Cassettes, CD's and of course on iPod. He is truly a renaissance man!
Report as inappropriate
One of my favorite jazz songs.
Report as inappropriate
I remember when this piece first hit the radio (WILD) back in the day. I flew to the record store to buy it. In fact I still have the album today. Cool as cool can be. Peace.
Report as inappropriate
linksgayaren a
From the Fleetwood the cats to smooth
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PowerFUL
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This is classic smooth jazz and it's a love song love it!
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My man is the best, at this here Jazz sound, love to hear Flight time........ D o n ' t I t F e e l G o o d " I dig you, Baby"
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The great Ramsey Lewis. My dad has great tastes in music and I grew up listening to this snd other greats.Thank s z dad
Report as inappropriate
Thanks for the bop- hop. Do you ever respond? Please do.
Report as inappropriate
Oh man oh man!!!! The GREATEST !!!
Report as inappropriate
Enjoyin' and groovin' to the RLT since i was a child. yummmmmm
Report as inappropriate
Smoove Groove,Ramse y & EWF"74"
H-Town Listening,Me m o r i e s 5m14y
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Now this is what you call music. Awesome!!
Report as inappropriate
tina.gardner
What a blessing and a gift he has been to music- not just Jazz. A beautiful musician.
Report as inappropriate
Wade In The Water, took me back.
Report as inappropriate
linksgayaren a
From the Fleetwood how cool is this peace
Report as inappropriate
Why doesnt pandora have Ramsey Lewis' individual tracks more available? He is a Master Composer!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
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