Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis and His Gentle-Men of Swing

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This was pianist Ramsey Lewis' first album, a trio set with bassist El Dee Young and drummer Red Holt. Lewis sounds like a cross between John Lewis and Oscar Peterson, playing melodic and lightly boppish versions of such pieces as "Carmen," Russ Freeman's "The Wind," "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," Gerry Mulligan's "Limelight" and a few originals. Five of the nine selections have since been reissued on CD but the full LP is worth getting. Chances are that this historic album can be picked up fairly inexpensively at a used record store; it is worth taking a chance on.