Search Manic Mark's Blog

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dancing In The Street - Ramsey Lewis

Dancing In The Street
Ramsey Lewis
Recorded: July, 1967 at Basin Street West, San Francisco, California
Album Production & Supervision: Esmond Edwards
Engineer: Wally Heider
Cover Photo: Gene Anthony
Album Design: Jerry Griffith
Cadet Records LPS 794

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art.

From the inside cover:

Cleveland J. Eaton was born in Fairfield, Alabama, in 1939. In the midst of a throughly musical family, he began to studying music when he was 5 years of age. He was literally inundated with four piano teachers in the Eaton household – his mother, two sisters, and an aunt. Four pianos and a Hammond organ were available so it was inescapable that he became a keyboard student. His two Juilliard-trained sisters have since become concert pianists. Cleve shifted to the alto saxophone at 10; although he was in elementary school, he played alto for two years as a member of the Fairfield Industrial High School.

Following a short try with the trumpet , Cleve proceeded to involve himself in a literally long parade of instruments – the tuba and the string bass being the last two he learned in the 11th grade. After only two weeks with the bass, he started a gig with the Leon Lucky Davis in Birmingham, Alabama. In search for a music scholarship, he was ultimately awarded one for tuba at Tennessee State. He majored four years on tuba and minored in string bass; he also earned a Teaching Credential along with his diploma.

A couple of days after his graduation, he arrived in Chicago and in no time he was playing in a Monday night session at the Sutherland. The late Nat "King" Cole's brother, Ike, heard Cleve and invited him to join his group; subsequently he traveled with pianist Ike Cole for 1 1/2 years. In New York City, the quintet of trumpeter Donald Byrd and baritonist Pepper Adams became his next jazz anchorage. Three months later Chicago drew him back, and in late 1961 Cleve joined pianist Larry Novak' trio which played part of nearly every week for 5 years at the London House. Energetic Mr. Eaton played the tuba, the fender bass and string bass on studio assignments – recording, radio and TV commercials, etc. Concurrently he taught fifth and sixth grades in the Chicago Public Schools, winding up with seventh and eight grade instrumental music in the last two years of employment. Cleve played bass for nearly every major act that came through Chicago – Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson, Gloria Lynne, Jack Jones, et al; he was also present on a great many jazz recording sessions.

In June of 1966, Ramsey Lewis recruited Cleve for his trio. The two had met originally while they were playing opposite each other in the London House.

It is not surprising that Cleveland Eaton declares that his influences on the bass include Ray Brown in particular; the raison d'ĂȘtre is apparent as you listen to Cleve's tone. His tone is full and projective and his notes are somewhat long, giving his movement a nice feeling of swing. Other jazz bassists that Cleve considers contributory to his personal jazz approach include Paul Chambers, Sam Jones, Richard Davis and the late Scott La Faro

– – –

The lithesome drummer in Ramsey Lewis' Trio was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942. He is the son of Verdine White, M.D. in Chicago. From the age of 6 to 12, he sang in a gospel quartet and traveled extensively in the South East. At 13, he started playing the drums, gaining early experience with a marching band and a combo that played in a sanctified church.

Continuing his studies of the drums following his emigration from Tennessee in 1961, Maurice settled in Chicago and engaged the tutelage of a series of four instructors. His academic training included two years at Chicago Music Conservatory. Prior to his union with Ramsey Lewis in June of 1966, Maurice spent three years as staff drummer win the Chicago studios playing a wide range of music and assuming a variety of roles as a percussionist. And, like bassist Cleveland Eaton, he participated in numerous recording sessions in the Windy City; these assignments brought him into close contact with many musicians including Ramsey.

Drummer Art Blakey was the first jazz drummer to pry open Maurice's ears and provided the motivating force to spur him on to play jazz. This period of jazz exposure lies in the latter part of 1960 and early 1961. Prompted to investigate more deeply, Maurice discovered the masterful of Roy Haynes who is cited as the drummer whose influence has given Maurice the most direct and enduring effect. In sincere admiration, Maurice commented, "People are just finding out that what they are doing, Roy was doing decades ago. Of course, I dig other drummers, too – Philly Jo Jones, Max Roach, Tony Williams, Alan Dawson, and Elvin Jones. Incidentally, Elvin is a stylistic descendent of Roy Haynes' mold too.

Maurice White is a maturing young drummer who lays down a solid, authoritative beat and although he can obviously express himself very explosively at times, he does everything possible to fit into the concept of the Ramsey Lewis Trio. And Maurice is very enraptured with playing drums. He seems to dig every every minute of it! Because he has time on his side and an abundance of ambition and youthful vigor, Maurice White's future promises to be a very hopeful one. Beyond the Ramsey Lewis context. Maurice spends a great deal of effort studying, listening, waiting, and playing in sessions wherever he finds the opportunity. – Herb Wong

From Billboard - October 14, 1967: Ramsey Lewis is an expert at revitalizing pop tunes with a personalized pop treatment that knocks on the doors of both the pop and the jazz fields. This is the debut LP of his new group and it's right in the hit groove with "Dancing In The Street," "What Now My Love," "You Don't Know Me."

Dancing In The Street
Black Orpheus Medley
What Now My Love
You Don't Know Me
Struttin' Lightly
Mood For Mendes
Quiet Nights

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!