EWF-influenced '70s classic
calmnsense | Oregon & London UK | 08/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like the tune "Sun Goddess"? That soul-jazz classic fronted by Maurice White and the Earth,Wind & Fire boys and brought to market on the fingers of legendary jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis literally revived Lewis' career in the mid-1970s. And "Don't It Feel Good" - long unavailable on CD, is something of the second act in the EWF-influenced period of Ramsey's career, and was produced by Charles Stepney, the same man behind EWF's classic albums "Open Our Eyes", "That's the Way of the World" and "Spirit".
Don't expect anything like Ramsey's work in Urban Knights or the "Hang On Sloopy" cover period of the '60s (when Maurice White worked as a drummer in Ramsey's band). This CD is a mix of funky humorous (but almost throwaway) tunes like "Fish Bite" and "Spiderman" coupled with a number of lovely ballads, some tasty group vocals and mostly keyboard noodling by Ramsey.
All in all, it was no ground-breaker, but arrangements are slick and the bulk of the tracks are pleasant, catchy tunes. A highlight is Ramsey's cover of "That's the Way of the World".
Worth buying if you're a '70s funk-jazz aficionado. Even if this is arguably a low point of Ramsey's long (over 80 albums!) career, the man was a class act then, as he is today. On that basis - four stars (but clearly NOT for everybody...do listen to the samples)."