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Bobby Lewis: Just Havin’ Some Fun

Trumpeter Bobby Lewis is more than “just havin’ some fun.” Indeed, the veteran Chicago mainstay is playing out of a tuneful neo-mainstream bag with intelligence and melodic grace. All said, it’s serious fun! Setting up the perky rhythms are some of Chitown’s best: keyboardist Jim Ryan; guitarist Curtis Robinson; bassists Thomas Kini, John Bany and Rob Kassinger; drummers Jeff Stitely and Paul Wertico; and percussionists Alejo Poveda, Ruben Alvarez, and Geraldo de Oliveira. The fine horn players include saxman Pat Mallinger and trombonist Jim Beebe.

Settings vary from Walter Booker’s lilting “Saudade” and Dizzy Gillespie’s exotic “Tanga” to the leader’s jaunty title track. Chicago songstress Bonnie Herman, who set jazz vocal heights as a member of Singers Unlimited, offers an appealing “Just Friends” that’s framed by the resonant reeds of the five-man clarinet section of the Chicago Symphony. Along with his spirited trumpet and mellow flugelhorn, Lewis’ engaging compositions are another asset. In all, it’s music with a bounce and a warm inviting smile. And, yes, it’s fun!

Originally Published