The Artistry of… Ramsey Lewis

There is a twinkle in his eyes. It is as bright today as it ever was. It darts, dances and plays in his music — the essence of his artistry. Fifty-plus years at play.

Then there is a beautiful and natural connection with one of my favourite bands: Earth, Wind & Fire. Maurice White once played drums in Lewis’s band. After leaving to form Earth, Wind & Fire, White returned to produce Ramsey’s album Sun Goddess. It was in this project that Lewis made his foray into electric keyboards and featured Earth, Wind & Fire on the album. The definition of hip and cool: that groove and sass in the music, that twinkle and dance and play, the dancing over, by, and through genre lines is all a hallmark of his artistry.

He is described as having high standards and is a stickler for knowing the roots and traditions of all the genres he has played. A wizard of the groove and swing, he makes us dance in step with him. Like Deee-Lite said in Groove is in the Heart, “Not vicious or malicious, just de-lovely and delicious.”

The Artistry of… airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish.