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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Country Meets The Blues - Ramsey Lewis

High Noon
Country Meets The Blues
The Ramsey Lewis Trio
Supervision: Ralph Bass
Arrangers: Oliver Nelson, reeds side; Lew Douglas, strings
Cover: Winbush Associates Inc.
Recorded August 2 & 3, 1962, at Bell Sound Studio, New York City
Argo LP 701


Ramsey Lewis - Piano
Red Holt - Drums
Eldee Young - Bass plus reeds and strings

From the back cover: Jazz is a feeling rather than statement. An unmistakeable feeling of self expression, of independence, of the individual speaking and living in harmony with his fellow men. This is a feeling which can be communicated.

Jazz appreciation is not limited to social or economic groups. Jazz is for everybody, for everyone who will listen.

The scope of jazz has widened as it has spontaneously developed contrapuntal melodies. Jazz has an important story to tell; as such innovators as John Lewis, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and John "Dizzy" Gillespie have given to its telling – a structure, an intellectual appeal rivaling its emotional impact. Their contributions have made jazz a rich and fertile music, exciting, alive and stimulating, to the mind as well as to the heart. The contributions to jazz did not stop with the aforementioned, but you will find it to be ever increasing.

Young men and women are improvising, drawing from many sources, blending and putting into jazz something that was not there before... but never losing the source, the blues.

The young man today most qualified of the above mention is... Ramsey E. Lewis Jr. who was born in Chicago just 26 years ago. Ramsey has a background most musicians would envy.\

His studies started at the tender age of six. He continued to equip himself at De Paul University where he also became a student of the classics and thus the leader of the Ramsey Lewis Trio was born.

This trio (and I might add, is the most popular in the country today) consists of bass and cello player extraordinary, Eldee Young, who is also from Chicago.

The brilliant drummer, from Rosedale, Mississippi, raised in Chicago, is Issac "Red" Holt. Three of the most brilliant minds ever applied to jazz.

The Ramsey Lewis Trio find themselves in a setting not familiar to some but one which find the group right at home, with the blues – and a little country feeling added for flavor.

Here, Ramsey has the assistance of strings and voices, under the leadership of Lew Douglas, and a very unique brass section lead by none other than Oliver Nelson. The "treatments" you will find to be indescribably beautiful. String and voices may lead you to believe that the group doesn't swing... quite the contrary... Ramsey is in full charge all the wall and SWINGS. The group swings extra hard on "My Bucket's Got A Hole In It", making for smooth dancing and very commercial. Another highlight of the set is the trio's confession of "I Just Want To Make Love To You". The trio is into a great groove with Eldee on Cello and out front all the way.

This is the Ramsey Lewis utilizing Country and Blues, as a truly soulful music to underline a variety of musical situations as only Ramsey Lewis can do it, BEAUTIFUL. – Al Clarke - House Of Jazz - Radio WJMO - Cleveland, Ohio

From Billboard - September 22, 1962: Ramsey Lewis has a set here that should get him considerable pop as well as jazz recognition. The album is a tasteful potpourri of country, blues and standard tunes that are done with ork, strings and voices. Lewis' piano is featured and the set is nicely paced in ballad and medium tempo swing. "Your Cheatin' Heart," "High Noon" and "Blueberry Hill" are outstanding tracks.

Your Cheatin' Heart (H. Williams)
St. Louis Blues (W. C. Handy)
Blueberry Hill (Lewis-Stock-Rose)
Country Meets The Blues (R. Lewis)
Memphis In June (Carmichael)
High Noon (Tiomkine-Washington)
I Need You So (Hunter)
I Just Want To Make Love To You (W. Dixon)
Tangleweed 'Round My Heart (Kelley-Wyatt)
My Bucket's Got A Hole In It (C. Williams)

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