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Ramsey Lewis

Following his recent 75th birthday and the release of his latest trio recording Songs from the Heart, pianist Ramsey Lewis joins Alyn Shipton to discuss his recorded highlights.

This month, Chicago-born pianist Ramsey Lewis celebrates his 75th Birthday and the recent release of Songs From The Heart, his latest trio recording. This acoustic format has been a central component of Lewis' sixty-year career, bringing chart success in 1965 with 'The In Crowd', a track recorded live at Washington D.C.'s Bohemian Caverns where the audience's whoops and claps became, in Ramsey's words, the 'fourth member of the band'. But, as Alyn Shipton finds out in this programme, Lewis' catalogue of discs is richly varied, including interpretations of Beatles ballads, forays into fusion (with the help of Earth, Wind & Fire) and a large-scale gospel album alongside his many trio outings. A natural storyteller, Lewis remembers his father introducing him to the virtuosity of Art Tatum (prompting the question: 'Dad, who are they?') and, in conversation with Alyn Shipton, he describes how Western Classical tradition holds an important position in his musical thinking.

1 hour

Last on

Sat 1 May 2010 16:00


Music Played

  • Ramsey Lewis


    Composer: Lewis Performers: Ramsey Lewis, p; Larry Gray, b; Leon Joyce, d. 2009

    • Songs From The Heart.
    • Concord.
    • 31313.
  • Ramsey Lewis

    Fantasia For Drums

    Composer: Lewis Performers: Ramsey Lewis, p; Eldee Young, b; Isaac “Red” Holt d. Chicago, 1957.

    • Ramsey Lewis and his Gentle-Men of Jazz.
    • Fresh Sound.
    • 534.
  • Ramsey Lewis


    Composer: Bizet arr Lewis Performers: Ramsey Lewis, p; Eldee Young, b; Isaac “Red” Holt d. Blue Note Club, Chicago, 30 Apr 1960.

    • In Chicago.
    • Jazz Beat.
    • 535.
  • The Ramsey Lewis Trio

    The In Crowd (Bohemian Caverns, 1965)

    Composer: Billy Page Performers: Ramsey Lewis, p; Eldee Young, b; Isaac “Red” Holt, d. Bohemian Caverns, Washington D.C., 15 May 1965.

    • The In Crowd.
    • Verve.
    • 0602517448247.
  • Ramsey Lewis


    Composer: Lewis Performers: Ramsey Lewis, kbs; Cleveland Eaton, b; Maurice White, d; orchestra arranged and conducted by Charles Stepney. 1968.

    • Mother Nature’s Son.
    • Universal (Japan).
    • UCCD 9029.
  • Ramsey Lewis

    Sun Goddess

    Composer: White / Lind Performers: Ramsey Lewis, kbs, g; Verdine White, voc, b; Maurice White, voc, perc, d; Phillip Bailey, voc, cga; Don Meyrick, ts; Charles Stepney, kbs, g; Cleveland Eaton, b; Maurice Jennings, d. 1974.

    • Sun Goddess.
    • Columbia.
    • 723816.
  • Ramsey Lewis

    For the Love of Art

    Composer: Lewis Performers: Ramsey Lewis, p. May/June 1999.

    • Appassionata.
    • Narada.
    • 47996.
  • Ramsey Lewis

    Oh Happy Day

    Composer: trad. Performers: Ramsey Lewis, p; Steve Eisen, ts; Kirk Tracy, tb; Larry Gray, Maurice Fitzgerald, b; Bobby Lewis, d; Ruben Alvarez, perc; Keith Henderson, Bobby Broom, g; Orbert Davis, tp; William Kilgore, org; Kevin Randolph, kbs; Leon Jr. Joyce, Khari Parker, d; Donald Lawrence & J.W. James Memorial A.M.E. Combined Choirs. J.W. James Memorial A.M.E. Church, Maywood, IL, May/June 2005.

    • With One Voice.
    • Narada / EMI.
    • 60699.
  • The Ramsey Lewis Trio

    To Know Her is to Love Her

    Composer: Lewis Performers: Ramsey Lewis, p; Larry Gray, b; Leon Joyce, d. 2009.

    • Songs from the Heart.
    • Concord.
    • 31313.