Album: Ramsey Lewis, Songs from the Heart (Concord)

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The Independent Culture

Pianist Lewis is famed for his 1960s pop covers and a series of albums with producers Charles Stepney and Richard Evans that ranks among soul-jazz's towering acheievements.

Now 74, here he performs a studio set of his own compositions, partly adapted from previous scores for a ballet and string quartet. He hasn't lost his touch and the eight trio tracks (there's also four solo piano pieces) feature masterful heavy-rolling, but the overall aura is over-reverential, something Concord make a speciality of.