Thursday, May 01, 2014



The eight albums collected on this four-disc box represent the original Ramsey Lewis Trio's (the pianist, drummer Redd Holt, and bassist Eldee Young) emergence as a popular entity on the mainstream jazz and pop scenes not only in their hometown of Chicago, but in America at large. All of these dates were originally issued by Argo. Disc one contains both Stretching Out and the grooving Ramsey Lewis Trio in Chicago (that closes with the killer reading of "C.C. Rider," foreshadowing the more driving soul-jazz-oriented sounds they'd record in the mid- to late-'60s). Disc two contains More Music from the Soil and Never On Sunday. The theme albums, Sound of Christmas, and the far more interesting Sound of Spring -- with its fine readings of "Soft Winds" and "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" -- make up disc three. The final offering here contains the criminally underrated Country Meets Blues and the popular Bossa Nova, both from 1962. The good news is that this set is almost unbelievably inexpensive. The bad news is two-fold. Enlightenment is a U.K. label and therefore isn't required to pay copyright fees on material at least 50 years old. It also means that they didn't have to use master tapes as their source material: it's highly debatable as to whether these recordings were actually taken from tapes rather than vinyl LPs. You get what you pay for. The stars are for the music, not the package. ~ Thom Jurek.  By 1960 Ramsey Lewis and his Trio, while not yet the chart-toppers they would become, were among the hottest live draws on the US jazz circuit. His fortunes were set to change within a few years, but this compilation, containing eight full original albums, all delightfully remastered, illustrates conclusively what a dynamic jazz ensemble The RLT were during the early years of their career. ~ CD Universe


Felipe Salles traveled to Uganda in 2011 where he researched traditional Ugandan music and wildlife, worked with local artists, and visited the music departments of Makerere and Kyambogo Universities. His findings served as inspiration for his sixth albu Liner Note Author: Damascus Kafumbe. Recording information: Wellspring Sound Recording Studio, Acton, MA (08/29/2013). Photographers: Felipe Salles; Mikko Naalisvaara. Arranger: Felipe Salles. Personnel: Felipe Salles (flute, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, hand claps); David Liebman (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Nando Michelin (piano, hand claps); Bertram Lehmann (drum set, hand claps); Rogerio Boccato (hand claps, percussion); Keala Kaumeheiwa, Lucas Apostoleris (hand claps); Damascus Kafumbe. Audio Mixer: Pete Rende. ~ CD Universe


Jeff Lashway, jazz legend Maynard Ferguson's final, and one of the trumpeter's favorite, pianists presents a swinging and accessible set of unique arrangements of great tunes. With a stellar lineup, including the amazing drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, trumpeter Jim Rotondi, bassist Todd Coolman and Jeff Beck//Wet Willie alumnus vocalist Jimmy Hall, Lashway's chops, taste and arranging skills are amply displayed. AllAboutJazz says: "REUNION is a terrifically entertaining, swinging, and most enjoyable CD, the music and its players shining throughout. Hopefully, Lashway and his team will reunite again soon." This is truly a joyous reunion: Lashway and Colaiuta are lifelong friends, Hall and Colaiuta toured together with Jeff Beck, Rupert was on Maynard's band with Lashway, and trombonist John Allred and Jim Rotondi were on Toshiko Akiyoki's band. Producer Scott Elias, Lashway and Colaiuta have been close friends for years; Jimmy Hall is Scott's cousin! Long overdue, this musical reunion will keep you happily listening... Enjoy. ~ CD Universe

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