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Ramsey Lewis - Hang on Ramsey!/Wade in the Water (1998)

Jazz | Author: jonson | 23-12-2015, 08:19
Ramsey Lewis - Hang on Ramsey!/Wade in the Water (1998)Artist: Ramsey Lewis
Title Of Album: Hang on Ramsey!/Wade in the Water
Year Of Release: 1998
Label (Catalog#): BGO Records: BGOCD396
Country: US
Genre: Crossover Jazz, Jazz-Pop
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 76:35
Full Size: 472 mb


Hang on Ramsey! (1965)
01. A Hard Day's Night (4:57)
02. All My Love Belongs to You (4:16)
03. He's a Real Gone Guy (2:25)
04. And I Love Her (5:42)
05. Movin' Easy (3:13)
06. Billy Boy/Hi-Heel Sneakers (9:06)
07. The More I See You (5:13)
08. Satin Doll (6:09)
09. Hang on Sloopy (3:09)

Wade in the Water (1966)
10. Wade in the Water (3:52)
11. Ain't That Peculiar (2:59)
12. Tobacco Road (4:33)
13. Money in the Pocket (2:44)
14. Message to Michael (3:10)
15. Up Tight (Everything's Alright) (3:16)
16. Hold It Right There (2:28)
17. Day Tripper (3:11)
18. Mi Compasion (3:06)
19. Hurt So Bad (3:06)

After 1965's In Crowd Ramsey Lewis started capitalizing on his appeal to a wider audience and this album contains a 1965 live performance and a 1966 studio album that clearly show that evolution. Some purists and jazz snobs probably turn up their noses at his musical direction, but he broke out of the mold that held superb trios like the Red Garland Trio, The Three Sounds and Wynton Kelly's excellent trios in obscurity. The reason is Lewis embraced popular tastes while the others would not stray far from their jazz roots.
After my tirade about not straying from jazz, the first nine tracks are from a live performance at one of the West Coast's biggest jazz hotspots. So much for catering to popular tastes, right? Actually, Lewis does by leading out with Hard Day's Night and the audience response indicates that they highly approve. Granted, much of the performance is comprised of jazz standards ranging from Real Gone Guy to Satin Doll (both of which are among my favorite tracks), he does slip some pop into the mix and ends with Hand On Sloopy.
Personally I think this is one of the strongest performances of the trio - studio or live - and I like it more than their At the Bohemian Caverns in Washington Dc (Reis) performance. One thing I noticed is the drummer, Red Holt, had an aggressive style that I never noticed on his other albums. I normally prefer piano trio drummers to be in the background, but his style works and especially on this album. The bassist, Eldee Young, was simply superb on this album (to my ears, anyway.) This would be Holt's and Young's last album with Lewis. These tracks were recorded live at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, California between October 14-17, 1965.
The remaining ten tracks on the album is from the 1966 studio album titled Wade in Water. Lewis has replaced Holt and Young with Maurice White on drums and Cleveland Eaton on bass. He added horns to this album and used songs that were very popular at the time. This approach increased his popularity and won him a Grammy in the process.
Aside from dipping into traditional gospel with Wade in the Water, Lewis did an excellent job with Stevie Wonder's Uptight (Everything's Alright) and Marvin Gaye's Ain't That Peculiar. That certainly expanded to appeal to Motown fans. He also included the Beatle's Day tripper, further expanding the appeal.
Note, the Wade in Water portion of this album does not have the same track sequence as the original, so if you are replacing an old vinyl copy with this CD, then you should note that. The original sequence was:
Side 1
Wade in the Water
Ain't That Peculiar
Tobacco Road
Money in the Pocket
Message to Michael
Side 2
Uptight (Everything's Alright)
Hold It Right There
Day Tripper
Mi Compasion
Hurt So Bad
If you are a Ramsey Lewis fan then this is an excellent set of albums that have been combined into a value pack. If your favorite period is encompassed within these albums and his earlier work I highly recommend that you also check out In Person 1960-1967.
-- Mike Tarrani

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