12 Songs, 57 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings
6 Ratings

Bobby Lewis from Chicago

Having been to Chicago and exploring the Jazz scene there, I knew I had to see the World renown trumpet player Bobby Lewis play at Andy's. AMAZING that Bobby at 80 years old sounds like he did 60 years ago. His latest CD Play On is an outstanding example of this treasured Jazz musician. If you like "Real Jazz" from an original buy this and smile for years


Bobby Lewis plays on, indeed

The career of trumpeter Bobby Lewis is wide and deep. For a long time now, he has been among the first-call trumpet players in the very musical, toddlin’ town of Chicago. That’s saying a lot considering all the stellar jazz trumpet players who were born in or passed through the city.

Bobby’s new CD, “Play On”, is an amazing entry in the trumpeter’s oeuvre. He has surrounded himself with the same coterie of excellent Chicago musicians who have worked with him on both recordings and club dates for years. The opening track is the Arthur Schwartz gem, “You and the Night and the Music”, and features vocalist Jobelle Yonely, a mainstay on the Chicago jazz scene for years. The tune is a perfect opener and played at an easy, loping tempo. It includes a typically lyrical solo chorus from Bobby. Jobelle is also featured on her very own composition, “The Silent Goodbye’, which includes a beautiful muted obbligato from Bobby.

The highlight of the recording is almost certainly Bobby’s wonderful, new suite, “Seasonal Tones”, written especially for this record date. A spoiler alert; it just may cause you to forget the similarly entitled classical work by Antonio Vivaldi. The album liner notes describe it as “a suite of color and sound”, and it is indeed full of musically descriptive seasonal hues and tones.

Bobby Lewis’ playing and writing remain as relevant today as they were in the early 70s when I first heard and met him. Brass instrument players tend to lose embouchure or “chops” over time, but no so Mr. Lewis. His warm, burnished tone is on full display here and hasn’t lost a thing. “Play On” will continue to reward the listener as have virtually all of Bobby’s previous record dates.


Bobby Lewis continues to …PLAY ON

Legendary Chicago Trumpeter Bobby Lewis has been described as "one of Chicago's most beloved Trumpeters" by Chicago Tribune Jazz Critic Howard Reich, describing Bobby's latest album "…Play On, which crystallizes what Lewis' followers have long admired about his music: it's serene lyricism, sleek sense of swing and heightened tonal control"

These talents are in ample supply on his latest CD. Comprised of standards, contemporary Jazz arrangements, and originals of his own and his musical collaborators, each track offers a unique and satisfying listening experience.

The album kicks of with Bobby joined by the vocalist Jo Belle whose husky cello-like voice pairs beautifully with his swinging horn on ‘You And The Night And the Music’. Later in the program they are together again on Jo Belle’s original composition ‘The Silent Goodbye’ where Bobby’s Harmon-muted playing echoes the plaintive lyrics and Jo Belle's understated delivery of this heart rending song.

John Lennon’s ‘Love’ is simply played with a trio of guitar, bass, and Bobby, doubling on Flugelhorn harmonies. This tune simply couldn't sound more beautiful!

Perhaps the centerpiece of this Album is Bobby’s original composition – a 4 part opus ‘Seasonal Tones’ exploring the colors and tonal qualities of the Seasons, each movement standing on it’s own as a master work of creative lyricism.

Buy the entire album and listen to it front to back as the artist intended and you will be delighted at every turn by the dynamism of the entire ensemble playing of Bobby and his colleagues. The energy and harmony he creates with Saxophonist Pat Mallinger will sometimes leave you wondering where one horn stops and the other starts. The rhythm section always swings with supporting solos - you can just tell that these guys are listening to each other in every note they play. It’s an album you will listen to over and over, always discovering something new! Highly recommended.

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