Long before he became a crossover star, Ramsey Lewis essentially played straight-ahead jazz. On this Chess reissue CD, 17 selections are taken from three former LPs dating from 1956-1959. Although one wishes that all of the music had been reissued complete on two CDs, this set with bassist Eldee Young and drummer Red Holt does give one a definitive look at Lewis in his early days. The pianist had a bluish and soulful yet swinging style, and among the highlights of the CD are "I'll Remember April," a memorable rendition of "Delilah," "Please Send Me Someone to Love," and "On the Street Where You Live."
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow