PC 33800 Don't It Feel Good
Produced by Charles Stepney & Ramsey Lewis
Released on October 1977
US CHART POSITION #46 . . . US JAZZ CHART POSITION #3
Find it at GEMM
PC 33800 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

G iven Sun Goddess’ warm reception, Ramsey Lewis and Charles Stepney surprised no one by releasing a soul/funk sequel, Don’t It Feel Good. The album contained a cover of the recent Earth, Wind & Fire hit, “That’s the Way of the World” (which Stepney, now also EWF’s producer, cowrote) and a second helping of solid 70s funk and soul ballads. The vocal ballad “Juaacklyn” is a highlight, featuring the graceful Rhodes piano of Lewis and the dreamy production style of Stepney. On the funkier cuts (“Fish Bite,” “What’s the Name of This Funk”), Lewis favors a sharp and spacey ARP attack. The backing band is nearly a direct pickup from Goddess, with Trio-riffic Morris Jennings set on drums (check out his intro to Way of the World) and Tiaz Palmer the new face on bass. The material comes courtesy of Stepney, Cash McCall, Morris Stewart, Byron Gregory and Derf Reklaw Raheem; Ramsey doesn’t take a single writing credit, yet his keyboards are at the core of it all. His style is fluid rather than flashy, his ear inclined toward melody not mayhem. Since the early days of the Ramsey Lewis Trio, he’s never been afraid to court commercial tastes, from Beatles covers to Christmas carols. And so his journey through jazz has followed the tastes of the time: tails and tophat, the cardigan crowd, a Latin love affair and, here, the inevitable migration to the new funk nation. The polyester space suits are simply another costume change, a chance to plug into (and cash in on) the electric craze. Don’t get me wrong: the funk is fun and the soul ballads are as soft as velour. However, Don’t It Feel Good doesn’t feel like the best of Ramsey Lewis. A whiff of jazz at the beginning of “Something About You” suggests that Ramsey’s real treasures lie in the province of the past.

TRACK LISTING

  1. DON'T IT FEEL GOOD    (Charles Stepney)    5:23
  2. JUAACKLYN    (Morris Stewart)    5:03
  3. WHAT'S THE NAME OF THIS FUNK (SPIDER MAN)    (Charles Stepney/Morris Stewart/Derf Reklaw Raheem)    3:20
  4. SOMETHING ABOUT YOU    (Charles Stepney/Cash McCall)    4:04
  5. THAT'S THE WAY OF THE WORLD    (Charles Stepney/Maurice White/Verdine White)    5:44
  6. FISH BITE    (Byron Gregory/Derf Reklaw Raheem)    3:50
  7. I DIG YOU    (Charles Stepney/Cash McCall)    5:35
  8. CAN'T FUNCTION    (Charles Stepney/Morris Stewart)    3:26

CREDITS

RAMSEY LEWIS -- Fender Rhodes piano, clavinet, ARP Odyssey, ARP Soloist, Steinway piano
BYRON GREGORY -- Fender guitar, Gibson guitar
MORRIS JENNINGS -- drums, cowbell, tambourine, jawbone
TIAZ PALMER -- Fender bass
DERF REKLAW RAHEEM -- flute, congas, tambourine, cowbell, vocals
CHARLES STEPNEY -- ARP String Ensemble, Moog synthesizer, mixing, tape editing
MORRIS STEWART -- vocals
Brenda Mitchell -- vocals
Paul Serrano -- horns, engineer, mixing
Jim Marshall -- photos
Gerard Huerta and John Berg -- design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1975 Columbia LP PC 33800  
AUSL 1975 CBS LP SBP-234723  
CAN 1975 Columbia LP KC 33800  
JPN 1975 CBS/Sony LP SOPN-160  
US October 17, 2006 Wounded Bird CD WOU-3800  

 

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