Monday, July 28, 2008


Dear Readers,

First off: sincere apologies for the looooong delay in posting. As most of you know, I have relocated from Los Angeles to the glorious Pacific Northwest (Portland, OR to be precise) and haven't had much time to dig here. However, I have uncovered a couple gems, and, naturally, it's my honor and privilege to share. So, let's get back to it!

"Upendo Ni Pamoja" marked Ramsey Lewis' third album for Columbia and the first to feature the Ramsey Lewis Trio. The most famous members had gone on to other successes. Red Holt and Eldee Young were signed to Atlantic as Young-Holt Unlimited, and of course later member Maurice White founded Earth, Wind and Fire. "Upendo Ni Pamoja" has the rhythm section of bassist Cleveland Eaton and drummer Morris Jennings. Unlike many early-'70s sets, this LP is a great blend of funky grooves and soulful spiritualism, stripped down into a sound that's one of his leanest and cleanest of the decade.

Personnel: Ramsey Lewis (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Cleveland Eaton (acoustic & electric basses); Morris Jennings (drums, percussion).

"Slipping Into Darkness" below, which was also sampled by Jay-Z for "Murdergram."