A few years ago the Godfather of crossover jazz piano Ramsey Lewis made a record that either re-recorded or re-edited tunes from his 1970s fusion classic Sun Goddess and included five new songs with his current Electric Band. Taking Another Look (2011) — surveyed at the time by our own Nick DeRiso — sought to rekindle old love affairs people had with that 1974 release and made sure we didn’t forget about Lewis’ unique funky elegance.
On July 24, 2015 a second helping of Taking Another Look will be served as a Deluxe Edition, on Ramsey Lewis’ brand new imprint Ramsey’s House. The “deluxe” part comes in the way of three extra tracks and with Sony’s distribution muscle behind this re-release, it’s going to reach a lot more people. The bonus tracks comprise of Lewis tracks recorded by special guests, and perhaps the most intriguing one involves another keyboard legend who also knows a thing or two about gettin’ funky.
“Jungle Strut,” a deep Sun Goddess cut that originally led off Side Two of the vinyl, is a voodoo groove that gets an update from none other than the master of the voodoo groove, Dr. John. Replacing the acoustic bass with an elastic, electric one and supplementing with a little organ soul in the background, the man born Mac Rebennack fills it up with tasteful piano leads.
A fitting tribute to the still-thriving Ramsey Lewis from the still-thriving Dr. John. Long may they both live.
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