By Esther Callens
Pure jazz with perfect swing – this is what to expect when listening to One Trip Out, the latest by the John A. Lewis Trio. Thoroughly modern with phenomenal compositions, pianist and composer John A. Lewis and company knows what real jazz is all about.
John A. Lewis, along with Lincoln Apeland and Merik Gillett, recognizes that with a trio, great music is a combined effort – a marriage of collaborated skilled. This is why the tracks on One Trip Out, Lewis’ ninth recording, have been received with much applause. It is fantastic!
There are roughly 11 tracks on One Trip Out with two of these that are approximately one minute or under. The album opens with “Let’s Face It.” It has a fantastic upbeat tempo. This is followed by the title track in which the pace is amped up a few notches. Performing up to the name “Sly Steps”, the trio really takes it to another level. Lewis and friends take their time with “The Grifter” as the measure slows while Lewis spots his amazing skills on the piano. One Trip Out is unquestionably a marvelous collection that will leave fans waiting for the next John A. Lewis Trio excursion.
John A. Lewis is a veteran when it comes to tickling the ivories as he has been performing for over 30 years. His father, John A. Lewis Sr., and his grandfather Howard Lewis, were promoters who managed such talents as Ray Charles, Etta James, Johnnie Taylor and numerous others. A graduate of Mountain View Junior College and Southern Methodist University, John A. Lewis studied under the tutelage of the eminent jazz educator, Dr. Thom Mason. Originally a trumpet player for numerous bands, John started playing piano and formed his own trio and composed his own music.
Album listing: Let’s Face It; One Trip Out; A Faustian Occurrence; The Grifter; Sprang; Sixty Miles Short; Three Shades; Def Blue; Nice; Sly Steps; A Sisyphean Evdeavor.
Album Personnel: John A. Lewis (piano); Lincoln Apeland (bass); Merik Gillett (drums).