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Ramsey Lewis Interview Page 3

Ramsey Lewis Jazz Musician

Smitty:   Well I think you’ve scored a hit here, not so much for the hit itself but for what it does for people, and how it reaches people like you mentioned.
RL:  Well I’m all about optimisim, I’m all about keeping the faith, I’m all about making a joyful noise and if that reaches people, then I’ve done my job.
Smitty:  Yes, so true. I want to touch on something before I let you go and before I forget too, because I would be so remiss if I didn’t. I had a conversation with Nancy Wilson, oh maybe a couple of years ago, and we had such a delightful conversation, that I mentioned you and your relationship with her and the albums that you’ve done together and the many different shows you’ve done with Nancy. I asked her to talk a little bit about her relationship with you in the business and she was so thrilled and talked about the wonderful times that you both had together doing different events and touring. And she talked about Meant To Be, and how you both wanted to do one album together while you were in the same town. She just lit up like a lightbulb talking about the wonderful times recording and doing different theaters and concert halls. I just wanted to follow up with that and have you talk about your times of touring with Nancy and what that meant for you and your career.
RL:  Well Nancy is a special lady, Nancy Wilson is a very talented lady; she’s a one of a kind, she takes her place among the great jazz singers of the world. I met Nancy, oh back in the early sixties, we had the same manager John Levy who still manages her. At the time she was just getting started in her career and she was living in New York. I was in John Levy’s office and I don’t know if it was Cannonball (Adderley) or someone who was there and introduced me to her, and she became friends with me and my family, she’s God-mother of one of my daughters. And you’re right, throughout the years we’ve always wanted to do an album together. And on many occasions, more times than we can count on one hand, we’ve played concerts together and she’s just down to earth, wonderful, sophisticated, but still a down to earth human being that can sing and sing and sing.
Smitty:  (Laughing) Yes indeed my friend. She talked about those very things, so you two share some very special projects and memories in your careers and the times that you’ve had together on tours, making great soulful music, and that’s a beautiful thing. You both have earned your way to the stellar careers that you have developed over the years. She’s like you just mentioned, a wonderful performer over the many years and she has such grace and class, and so down to earth and conversational, you got to love that.
RL:   She has a sense of humor, a no nonsense lady, but a very bright lady.
Smitty:  That’s beautiful, well Ramsey it’s been a pleasure to talk with you about your great career this wonderful record, “With One Voice” and all of the many other fantastic projects you have put together over the years and you’re doing your radio show for many years now, and then there’s the TV show, and I’m certainly looking forward to this TV show.
RL:  Well it’ll be on the first quarter of 2006 and it’s going to be on public television throughout the nation.
Smitty:  Wow.
RL:  Pleases look out for it and I want to thank you for taking the time to talk to me today.
Smitty:  Yes my friend, well let’s get together in the future, perhaps once the TV show airs.
RL:  I’d like to do that.
Smitty:  Alright, it’s been my pleasure to talk with one of the greats of the business, a living legend that’s full of life and great music, Narada Jazz recording artist Ramsey Lewis. Please pick up this latest record, it is one for your collection for sure, it’s called With One Voice. Ramsey thanks once again and big ups to you my friend.
RL:  Thank you and the best to you.

Baldwin “Smitty” Smith

For More Information Visit The Ramsey Lewis Website or Narada Jazz.