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Mother Nature's Son

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Album Review

This album was another brainchild of Marshall Chess' regime at Chess Records and, in a sense, is of a piece with Electric Mud by Muddy Waters — here, he's getting Ramsey Lewis, supported by an orchestra conducted and arranged by Charles Stepney, to do jazz improvisations on ten songs from The Beatles (aka The White Album). The results are a good deal more impressive and a lot less awkward than Electric Mud, Lewis and company being in far greater sympathy with this material than Muddy Waters was with Rolling Stones material. The orchestrations are occasionally a bit thick and treacly, but when Lewis jumps in and his playing takes flight, songs such as "Julia" soar off in all manner of unexpected and delightful directions, while "Back in the U.S.S.R.," divorced from its Chuck Berry sound, still serves as the basis for some funky improvisations by the pianist. The album probably didn't do much more for Lewis' career than Electric Mud did for Muddy Waters, but it's a better fit with Lewis and an enjoyable excursion. The cover art is also funny enough to almost make it worth the price of the LP, which was reissued in Japan in 2002 in 24-bit digital audio.

Customer Reviews

Mother Nature's Son

Here we are, well into the 21st century...and this little masterpiece still reaches out with all the charm, vitality and compelling blend of melody with rhythm that it had from day one. If one ever needs to capsulize the gifts and skills of Ramsey Lewis...just play Mother Nature's Son - especially the title song. This kind of music will be good for a thousand years to come.

Classic music...

Great album. A perfect combination of soul, funk, jazz... "Julia" & "Dear Prudence" are amazing.

Timeless Album

I first heard this album on a cassette tape I inherited from my late uncle back in 1972. There was no artist or album name on the the tape. All I kew was I loved the masterful keyboard playing, the sweeping orchestration and the flavor of the music. It wasn't until late last summer that I learned the album was by one of my all time favorite jazz pianists, Mr. Lewis. Definitely worth the 30+ year search.

Biography

Born: May 27, 1935 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis has been a major figure in contemporary jazz since the late 1950s, playing music with a warm, open personality that's allowed him to cross over to the pop and R&B charts. Lewis was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 27, 1935, and was introduced to music by his father, who directed the choir at a local church and enjoyed the music of Duke Ellington and Art Tatum. Lewis began studying the piano when he was four years old, and was soon accompanying the choir at Sunday...
Full Bio
Mother Nature's Son, Ramsey Lewis
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