This immersive new autobiography provides insight into the early life and illustrious career of the late great Ramsey Lewis, one of the most popular jazz pianists of all time.
Beginning with his childhood growing up in Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighborhood, Ramsey Lewis recounts his memories of the music in his parents’ church and his early piano lessons. As he learned classical technique, Lewis also absorbed countless jazz records and heard gospel music weekly, finally becoming a performer himself in his teenage years. With his coauthor and collaborator, Aaron Cohen, Lewis describes his early steps in jazz from joining the Clefs in the ’50s, to eventually establishing the Ramsey Lewis Trio.
This memoir provides an evocative tour of Lewis’s life from the club circuit of the early 1960s and recording with Chess Records to working with producer Maurice White and musicians such as Stevie Wonder. In this deep dive into an exceptional life and expansive career, Lewis takes us through his artistic challenges, offers insight and perspective on his own musical growth and the creative process, and describes his eventual foray into symphonic composition and performance.
Gentleman of Jazz: A Life in Musicis an inspiration to young musicians eager to follow in his footsteps and a tribute to the legacy of Ramsey Lewis and is sure to appeal to longtime fans as well as those new to the jazz scene.