, , , , ,

Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis | Songs from the Heart – Ramsey Plays Ramsey [Concord Jazz, 2009]

Concord Jazz will release Songs From the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey, the debut Concord Jazz CD from iconic pianist/bandleader Ramsey Lewis. At the age of 74, Ramsey Lewis has not only continued to be active in the jazz world, but he’s also forging ahead with a newly inspired creative instinct as a composer. This re-envisioned artistic sensibility is showcased on his new album, which is a remarkable, refined collection of 12 new originals that he composed over a period of two years. The collection includes music from two commissioned world premiere performances at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, just north of Chicago. Eight songs come from the score of 2007’s ballet To Know Her…written for the Joffrey Ballet Company and four pieces come from 2008’s Muses and Amusements suite performed with the Turtle Island Quartet.

Songs From the Heart, Lewis’ first trio recording in five years, features eight pieces with bassist Larry Gray and drummer Leon Joyce, and four piano solo performances. To Lewis, the CD marks a turning point in his storied career: he’s found new life as a composer.

“Initially nothing was compelling me to go into the studio,” says the three-times-Grammy-winner Lewis, who in addition to his 80-plus album career (seven went gold) is also a Chicago-based radio personality and host of the PBS TV series Legends of Jazz. “But since I’d been composing so much and people were responding positively to the new songs, I decided to do an entire album of my own material instead of recording music by other artists.”

In regards to his newfound love of composing, he adds, “I’m like a kid on Christmas morning all over again. For me, it’s all about the music. It’s what makes me sleep well and jump out of bed in the morning to work on new melodies. I can’t wait.”

Source: Concord Music Group