WADE IN THE WATER * RAMSEY LEWIS * CADET 5541 * USA
Ramsey Lewis was born in 1939 and grew up in Chicago where he studied piano from the age of four, he formed trio with Eldee Young (bass) and Redd Holt (drums) in 1954. The group signed with Chess records in 1957 and released records on first the Argo, then, Cadet imprints. Ramsey Lewis and the Trio were primarily categorised as a Jazz group, but, like some records by organ player Jimmy Smith and other Jazz artists, a few of his earlier releases were adopted by Mods; a number of whom were still around when Wade In The Water became a popular dance record in the late-night clubs and discothèques. In the early 1960s Mods only really had a flirting relationship with what can be called Jazz music - Ironically, it is said that the Modernists, the precursors to the Mods, came out of a body of people who were the British fans of Modern Jazz, as distinct from the Traditional, or 'Trad' Jazz that was prevalent in London in the late 1950s Wade In The Water is a traditional Spiritual number that for some reason seems to be credited to Ramsey Lewis on this record, in fact not only did he not write it he never even arranged it, that is credited to Richard Evens; it is possible that Ramsey Lewis could have heard the Johnny Griffin version of Wade In The Water from 1960, found on the Riverside LP The Big Soul-Band.
RETURN TO THE INSTRUMENTALS PAGE