The recording captures Lewis's ensemble perhaps at zenith. "Jazz at Vespers" is one of the key albums in the George Lewis canon. It was recorded during a Vespers service in 1954 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Oxford Ohio. This was the church of Rev. Alvin Kershaw, a jazz enthusiast who was one of the first to use jazz bands as part of a service. George Lewis was at his best playing spirituals, his clarinet gentle and introspective, weaving inside the melodies like a white dove. The band backed him sensitively.Highly recommended. Clean, clear recordings.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Although John Lewis is listed as the leader (this album's alternate title is "John Lewis Presents Contemporary Music"), the pianist does not actually appear on this record and only contributed one piece ("Django"). On what is very much a Gunther Schuller project, Schuller composed "Abstraction" and was responsible for the adventurous three-part "Variants on a Theme of John Lewis (Django)" and the four-part "Variants on a Theme of Thelonious Monk (Criss-Cross)"; Jim Hall contributed "Piece for Guitar & Strings."
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. We would gladly trade every other John Lewis album for a copy of this album – because the album's a treasure all the way through – and a really unique set, with a really unique feel! The session features Lewis' piano in the company of a hip French group that includes Sasha Distel on guitar, Pierre Michelot on bass, and the great Barney Wilen on tenor – all great players who bring out a whole new side of Lewis' genius! Wilen's solos alone are worth the price of the album – deeply soulful, with a resonant tone that's some of his greatest on record – and an easy illustration of why he was one of the few European players of the postwar years to get big notice on this side of the Atlantic.