KC 33194 Sun Goddess
Produced by Teo Macero & Ramsey Lewis
(Tracks 1 & 5 by Maurice White)
Released on 1974
US CHART POSITION #12 . . . US JAZZ CHART POSITION #1 . . .
GOLD RECORD
Find it at GEMM
KC 33194 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth X: ALL HAIL THE SUN OF RAMSEY’S. This is the big crossover hit from Ramsey Lewis, in which former Trio drummer Maurice White returns with EWF in tow and his Midas touch intact. Sun Goddess became Lewis’ first (and oddly only) gold record, largely on the strength of two tracks from White, “Sun Goddess” and “Hot Dawgit.” As mid Seventies funk records go, this is a fine artifact, with slick and shimmering arrangements. Ramsey’s keys glow like liquid sunlight, Cleveland Eaton’s bass pulsates like some funky star in the night sky, EWF kicks in some airy vocals and it’s mellow funk magic for forty minutes. In addition to a few Ramsey originals, the core trio of Lewis, Eaton and drummer Maurice Jennings cut a melodic version of Stevie Wonder’s “Living For The City.” The followup Feel Good felt funkier and spacier; Goddess is more serene, especially on the ballad “Love Song.” The African-influenced “Jungle Strut” is the album’s most agitated track, the speculative fusion of “Gemini Rising” the most intriguing (for prog fans at least). While Goddess basks in the reflected glory of EWF for two tracks, Ramsey rules the rest of the record with solid songwriting and his usual arsenal of ARPs and keys. Personally, I prefer fusion to funk, experiment to sentiment, but not everything has to reek of revolution. With Sun Goddess you can turn off the noise, tune into the funky vibe and take it easy. Of interest, Eaton opted to go out on a high note, following his fortunes with a string of solo albums before resurfacing in the Count Basie Orchestra.

TRACK LISTING

  1. SUN GODDESS    (Maurice White/Jon Lind)    8:29
  2. LIVING FOR THE CITY    (Stevie Wonder)    5:20
  3. LOVE SONG    (Ramsey Lewis)    5:53
  4. JUNGLE STRUT    (Ramsey Lewsi)    4:40
  5. HOT DAWGIT    (Maurice White/Charles Stepney)    3:00
  6. TAMBURA    (Ramsey Lewis)    2:53
  7. GEMINI RISING    (Ramsey Lewis)    5:50

CREDITS

RAMSEY LEWIS -- ARP synthesizer, ARP Ensemble, acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes electric guitar, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, Freeman String Symphonizer, arrangements
CLEVELAND EATON -- upright and Fender bass
MAURICE JENNINGS -- drums, tambura, conga, percussion
Phillip Bailey -- congas, vocals (1,5)
Richard Evans -- horn and string arrangements
Johnny Graham -- guitar (1,5)
Byron Gregory -- guitar
Don Myrick -- tenor sax (1)
Derf Reklaw Raheem -- weeah, congas, drums, vocals (4)
Charles Stepney -- Fender Rhodes electric guitar, ARP Ensemble (1,5)
Maurice White -- timbales, drums, vocals (1,5)
Verdine White -- bass, vocals (1,5)
Dave Antler -- engineer
Lester Smith -- engineer
Paul Serrano -- recording and remix engineer
John Berg -- cover design
Herb Breuer -- cover photo
David Gahr -- back cover photo

return to RAMSEY LEWIS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN 1974 Columbia LP KC-33194  
UK 1974 CBS LP 80677  
AUSL 1974 CBS LP SBP-234628  
JPN 1974 CBS/Sony LP SOPN-118  
US   SBME Special Markets CD SBMK-723816  

 

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