Archive for September 9th, 2011

Ramsey Lewis – Ramsey Taking Another Look

Ramsey Lewis is a jazz pianist and multi-instrumentalist, and composer who has released approximately 80 albums over a 50-year career. After several years of live performances and over a dozen albums which only caught the attention of jazz fans, the Ramsey Lewis Trio made a huge impression on mainstream audiences with the 1965 album The In Crowd. The title-track was a No.5 pop hit, and the album reached No.2. Moving further towards a pop version of Jazz, Wade In The Water and Hang On Sloppy the following year were also commercial successes.

His most successful album of the 70s was Sun Goddess, which was performed with the backing of members of Earth, Wind & Fire. It was his fourth album to be certified gold, and is still popular today with funk DJs and hip-hop samplers.

The three time Grammy® winner who rose to prominence in the early 1970’s will release his 80th collection on September 20, 2011 entitled Ramsey, Taking Another Look. On the ten song CD Lewis and his Electric Band breathe new life into many of Lewis’ favorite tunes including a new rendition of the Stevie Wonder penned “Living for the City” and a
new edit of the original “Sun Goddess” recording featuring Earth, Wind & Fire.

“The idea of the electric quintet came up and having played mostly in an acoustic trio arrangement for twelve-­fifteen years, I decided to get together with the guys to see how it felt. The rehearsals went so well that I called in my engineer, Danny Leake and my producer/son, Frayne Lewis to come in and roll tape. I’ve recorded maybe 65-­70 albums, and this album is definitely among the top five.”

Paul Hardcastle – Paul Hardcastle VI

To present Paul Hardcastle‘s biography or discography would be like carrying coals to New Castle. Everybody knows this famous musician and his music.

One of his tremendous hits is Rainforest, reaching #1 on the 12″ sales chart in the USA in 1984. A first highlight of his terrific sense for melody and rhythm.  Decades later Hardcastle revisits this classic theme with Rainforest/What’s Going On on his new album Paul Hardcastle VI (2011). The ingenious combining of Rainforest with Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, a critical song about the ghetto youth, gives this song a new direction, an anti-war declaration.

With Night Time Hustle Hardcastle salutes to the music of Down To The Bone. The tune features Paul Hardcastle on sax in an outstanding role. Inspired by the island world of the Maldives Hardcastle composed 1000 Miles From Nowhere featuring sultry singer Becki Biggins. Becki has won the 2009 American Billboard Best Smooth Jazz Artist Award with Paul Hardcastle for the album Hardcastle V and is also the featured singer on his album Jazzmasters VI.

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