On the Town

On the Town

by Webster Lewis

CD

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Overview

The first album released on this artist's Epic contract continued the stylistic narrative begun on a live album earlier in the decade, only on a much larger scale. Webster Lewis -- a keyboardist, clarinetist, composer, conductor and arranger from Baltimore -- had gotten in the ears of some soul and jazz fans by using an Isley Brothers tune, "It's Your Thing," to set off his own improvisations. Miles Davis was even said to have been a fan of Lewis, whose name sometimes comes up in connection with the mysterious personnel assembled On the Corner. On the Town is incredibly typical of projects from this era, attempting to combine jazz and soul sensibilities, originally seeming to please nobody at all but over time apparently mellowing into a broth quite pleasing to listeners fond of newly simmered genres such as rare groove or golden soul. No expense was spared, no stone unturned, when it came to gathering studio session talent for this event. At least eight of the instrumentalists taking part either were, or became, solo artists in their own right. A total of approximately 50 players were contracted by the time Lewis had completed the seven featured tracks. This artist's reputation and accomplishments are not worth arguing about, a point worth making since the predicitable outcome of these '70s blockbuster productions inevitably seems to be to almost yet not quite totally hide the star's talents. A certain number of elements considered necessary for popularity are always a big part of the action, among them cheesy background vocals, string sections with the creative implications of an armed guard, and of course all the latest keyboard technology. Unlike the yo-yo or the super-ball, the latter items have only gotten more popular by becoming out-dated. Lewis teamed up with fellow keyboard noodler David Horowitz for "Saturday Night Steppin' Out." The track wears its funk credentials like Wyatt Earp's badge, Cornell Dupree wrapping his curly cable around Carl Lynch's neck while maestro Lewis looks down the throat of a tiger that seems to be nibbling on a Casio -- obviously not true since that keyboard hadn't been invented yet. Horowitz, showing the brazen audacity to overdub an accordion on one track, composed the grimacing "Song of Joy" all on his own, perhaps influenced by the session contractar's commission check. Lewis' pretty "Goodnight, Baby Girl" is a wise choice for the closer, its honest warmth and sentimentality busting through the overgrown trappings like a pinata.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/22/2008
Label: Imports
UPC: 5019421401629
catalogNumber: 898079
Rank: 90767

Tracks

  1. On the Town
  2. Saturday Night Steppin' Out
  3. Since I've Been Gone
  4. Love Is the Way
  5. Do It with Style
  6. Song of Joy
  7. Goodnight, Baby Girl

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Webster Lewis   Primary Artist,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Joe Beck   Guitar
Tom "Bones" Malone   Trombone
Lew Soloff   Trumpet
Howard Johnson   Baritone Saxophone
Grady Tate   Drums
Bill Watrous   Trombone
Victor Lewis   Drums
David Taylor   Bass Trombone
David Nadien   Violin
Jonathan Abramowitz   Cello
Sanford Allen   Violin
Bob Babbitt   Electric Bass
Seymour Barab   Cello
John Beal   Bass
Yvette Benson   Background Vocals
Carla Benton   Background Vocals
Randy Brecker   Trumpet
Herb Bushler   Electric Bass
Selwart Clarke   Viola
Richard Crooks   Percussion
Noel DaCosta   Violin
Cornell Dupree   Guitar
Peter Dimitriades   Violin
Max Ellen   Violin
Bruce Gray   Background Vocals
Freddie Harris   Guitar,Steel Drums
Harry Lookofsky   Violin
Max Hollander   Violin
David Horowitz   Synthesizer,Accordion,Moog Synthesizer
Barbara Ingram   Background Vocals
Anthony Jackson   Electric Bass
Jack Jeffers   Trombone
Virgil Jones   Trumpet
Harold Kohon   Violin
Alyrio Lima   Percussion
Keith Loving   Guitar
Carl Lynch   Guitar
Charles McCracken   Cello
Cliff Morris   Guitar
Lance Quinn   Guitar
Matthew Raimondi   Violin
Richie Resnicoff   Guitar
Alan Rubin   Trumpet
Jumma Santos   Conga
Brooks Tillotson   French Horn
Harold Vick   Tenor Saxophone
Michael Comins   Violin
Rose Tillotson   Viola
Emanuel Vardi   Viola

Technical Credits

Webster Lewis   Arranger,Producer
Steven Friedman   Engineer
David Horowitz   Producer
Max Pollikoff   Contributor
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson   Arranger,Composer

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