Ramsey Lewis: The 'In' Crowd – as heard in Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
The 'In' Crowd
Ramsey Lewis (piano)
In Person 1960-1967 (Chess GRD-814)
Ramsey Lewis (piano),
Eldee Young (bass), Red Holt (drums).
Composed by Billy Page.
Recorded: Washington, DC: May 13, 1965
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
The mid-'60s pop avalanche split jazz in half. One side slid OUT, exploring the crowd-abatement effects of what author Stanley Crouch calls “one-dimensional screeching and honking.” Another side followed the IN crowd, scavenging the pop charts for fresh roadkill. Recorded live before an IN-thusiastic crowd, Ramsey Lewis's cover of “The ‘In’ Crowd” unexpectedly outdid Dobie Gray’s original, becoming one of 1965's top hits. Lewis, whose first gig was backing the choir at Chicago's Zion Hill Baptist Church, adds hard swinging to gospel roots, and shows remarkable dynamic range. Sure he played to the crowd, but they loved it. We still do.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz