Archive for the ‘London House’ Tag

Ramsey Lewis, RIP   Leave a comment

Ramsey Lewis — Getty Images

Mary Ann and I went to see the great Ramsey Lewis at Chicago’s London House in the early 70s. The Trio was the house band for a number of years. On his passing at 87, The Guardian wrote:

“The piano great tuned in to the hits of his day and played hard bop to a rock backbeat,
crossing into the mainstream and becoming one of the most sampled musicians of all time”

“I can, if necessary, play quite complicated jazz improvisations,” he once said. “But you’ve got to make sure you carry the audience with you. Most people don’t have an MA in music scholarship, they haven’t sat a jazz improvisation 101, they don’t want to hear you playing bebop inspired by Béla Bartók. You’ve got to follow the audience, and play off their energy.”

Amen! A class act when “class” meant a lot more.

— kenne

Here’s a link to a 2009 blog posting on Ramsey Lewis:

Posted September 14, 2022 by kenneturner in Chicago, Information, Jazz, Music

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Flashback — Seeing Ramsey Lewis at the London House   2 comments

Sunday afternoon and here I am listening to music back in time – in my mind. The time is the sixties, a time of early romance, which has always had a music connection – especially blues and jazz. Nurtured by late night radio, the music was often a balance with loneliness providing a connection with the feeling that stirred my very being. Some of my favorite jazz musicians were the likes of Oscar Peterson, Ramsey Lewis, Dave Brubeck, Erroll Garner and Ahmad Jamal. RamseyLewis_RamseySo, as I set here on our deck watching the dance of flying insects, a vision seen only because of the late afternoon sun spotlighting the being, otherwise unnoticed to the eye, and listening to an NPR interview with Ramsey Lewis – Ramsey Lewis: Opening Jazz to All – the genenis of my flashback.

Loving the late night radio music, it was only natural to share my late night feelings with a date by going to the London House, a supper-club that was the place for jazz in Chicago. Located at the corner of Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue. (Sadly, this great location on “magnificent mile” later became a Burger King restaurant.) Although above my means, I could think of no better place to spend a romantic evening. Looking back, I’m not sure if the romance was with the date or the music. However, knowing me, it was both.



Posted November 1, 2009 by kenneturner in Music, video

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