In the mid-1960s, pianist Ramsey Lewis enjoyed phenomenal pop success with his crossover jazz recordings of "The In Crowd," "Hang On, Sloopy," and other songs, which were usually recorded before audiences. This CD charts Lewis's career from 1956, the year his trio with bassist Eldee Young and drummer Redd Holt first recorded. While Gerry Mulligan's "Limelight" is straightforward modern jazz, the CD also finds the group emphasizing church roots and Holt's backbeat and stretching outside the jazz world for instantly familiar tunes, whether from Bizet's Carmen, traditional gospel, or folk songs, like "Little Liza Jane." Pop success came when the group released their live version of the R&B tune "Something You Got," with the song reduced to its funkiest fundamentals and an enthusiastic crowd clapping, talking, and singing along. The final five tracks come from the pianist's 1967 studio session with a horn section added, shifting the formula slightly but getting the same infectious results.