Ramsey Lewis

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Ramsey Lewis
LABELS: Narada Jazz
ALBUM TITLE: With One Voice
WORKS: Ramsey Lewis
PERFORMER: Ramsey Lewis (piano), various musicians
CATALOGUE NO: 338 4712
Notwithstanding the gospel choir

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this is the same old, same old. Lewis’s

music has always been steeped in

gospel feeling, and his harmonies,

voicing and phrasing clearly bespeak

the church’s influence. Although

he rarely plays classic ‘gospel piano’,

With One Voice comes closest here.

Like soul and R ‘n’ B, gospel has

lost its rawness over the last 25 years

and, for my taste, all three genres are

immeasurably the poorer for it. The

choir here is fairly smooth, though it

certainly gets the juices flowing on

‘God Can Work It Out’.

Lewis is a considerable talent

locked into an unchallenging

formula. His crisp, immaculate

playing can beguile you into

deriving guilty pleasure from the

most predictable fare, as on ‘Keep

the Spirit’. Unlikely to convert

unbelievers, but the Lewis faithful

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will rejoice. Barry Witherden