Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ramsey Lewis Wade in the Water LP

Cadet Records 10 songs. "Wade in the Water" is a Northern Soul classic and has a wicked groove, but Ramsey Lewis seemed to be too nerdy or straight or mainstream for most jazz cats. According to Les Carter on the liner notes, "Jazz,rock, and blues are all intermingled in the best Ramsey Lewis tradition". This LP has got a bunch of pop covers on it. 1966. Marvin Gaye's "Aint that Peculiar" gets a work over by Ramsey, his piano working over time to mimic the Marvin's vocal melodies. Tobacco Road is up next and takes a more low key approach which works the "Wade in the Water" groove well.
He opens up side 2 going after Stevie Wonder, "Uptight" gets an extended workout. And while not quite as visceral as Little Eva Harris, it is well done and could add to a Stevie Wonder Megamix. "Hold it Right There" is a catchy stripped down track with some background hoots and hollers that give it a bar room classic feel. Ramsey can always count on the Beatles to give him something to work with and he goes at "Daytripper" next. A full band arrangement with horns and slight latin feel. Nice.
He finishes off strong with "hurt so bad". 4/10 killer is not a strong buy rating but if the price is right how can you resist?

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