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George Lewis

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  • Born: New Orleans, LA
  • Died: New Orleans, LA
  • Years Active: 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

Albums

Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

George Lewis never tried to be a virtuoso soloist. He loved to play melodic ensembles where his distinctive clarinet was free to improvise as simply as he desired. When Lewis was inspired and in tune, he could hold his own with any of his contemporaries in New Orleans and he always sounded beautiful playing his "Burgundy Street Blues." To everyone's surprise (including himself), he became one of the most popular figures of the New Orleans revival movement of the 1950s.

It took Lewis a long time to achieve fame. He taught himself clarinet when he was 18 and worked in the '20s with the Black Eagle Band, Buddy Petit, the Eureka Brass Band, Chris Kelly, Kid Ory, the Olympia Orchestra, and other New Orleans groups. He played with Bunk Johnson in Evan Thomas' group in the early '30s but had a day job throughout most of the decade. When Bunk was discovered in 1942, Lewis became part of his band, playing with him Johnson, however, was difficult to get along with and a homesick Lewis returned to New Orleans by 1946. He played locally with his own group (featuring trombonist Jim Robinson) and in 1950 was portrayed in an article for Look. That exposure led to him recording regularly, and by 1952, Lewis was in such great demand that he was soon working before crowds in California and touring Europe and Japan. In addition to Robinson, Lewis' band in its prime years often featured trumpeter Kid Howard, pianist Alton Purnell, banjoist Lawrence Marrero, bassist Alcide "Slow Drag" Pavageau, and drummer Joe Watkins. George Lewis, who recorded for many labels (a Mosaic box set of his Blue Note sessions is one of the best reissues), became a symbol of what was right and wrong about the New Orleans revival movement, overpraised by his fans and overcritized by his detractors. At his best he was well worth hearing.

Wikipedia:

George Lewis may refer to:

Politicians[edit]

George Lowys or Lewis (fl. 1536), mayor of WinchelseaSir George Cornewall Lewis, 2nd Baronet (1806–1863), British statesmanGeorge Lewis (politician) (1820–1887), American politician, mayor of Roxbury, MassachusettsGeorge Lewis (MP for Cardiff), Member of Parliament (MP) for Cardiff, 1586

Sports[edit]

George Lewis (athlete) (1917–2011), track and field athlete from Trinidad and TobagoGeorge Lewis (footballer) (1913–1981), Watford and Southampton footballerGeorge Lewis (rugby) (born 1901), rugby union and rugby league footballer of the 1920s, and '30s for Pontypool RFC (RU), Wales (RL), and St. HelensGeorge Lewis (rugby league), rugby league footballer of the 1920s, '30s and '40s for CastlefordDuffy Lewis (George Edward Lewis, 1888–1979), Major League Baseball player

Music[edit]

George Lewis (clarinetist) (1900–1968), New Orleans jazz clarinettistGeorge Lewis (trombonist) (born 1952), American experimental composer and trombonist

Others[edit]

George Robert Lewis (1782–1871), English painter of landscapes and portraitsGeorge Lewis (journalist) (born 1943), American television reporterSir George Lewis, 1st Baronet (1833–1911), UK solicitor, baronetGeorge W. Lewis (1882–1948), Director of Aeronautical Research at NACAGeorge J. Lewis (1903–1995), Mexican-born American actorGeorge Lewis (Royal Marines officer) (1774–1854), officer in the Royal Marines during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812Slave George (1794–1811), murder victim, known also as George LewisGeorge H. Lewis, American painter and photographer

eMusic Features

1

House Party Starting: Playing Herbie Nichols

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

Ask a jazz fan about Herbie Nichols, and the reaction is likely to be either, "He's a genius," or "Who?" The pianist and composer is the paradigm of a genius neglected in his own time. Nichols's classic mid-'50s sides for Blue Note were all but forgotten when he passed at 44 in 1963. A.B. Spellman memorialized him with a chapter in 1966's Four Lives in the Be-Bop Business, but he didn't get much respect till… more »

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The AACM in Chicago Now: A Few Bold Souls

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

In A Power Stronger Than Itself, George Lewis's book on the AACM we were raving about last month, the original Chicago chapter of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians went through a rough patch after a mid-'70s exodus/brain drain saw many AACM principals moving to New York. They included heavy hitters like Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Claudine Myers, the Art Ensemble of Chicago's Lester Bowie and Joseph Jarman, Leroy Jenkins, Chico Freeman and… more »

1

George Lewis & the AACM’s Staying Power

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

Finally out, and worth the wait: George Lewis's sprawling book on the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians — the Chicago musicians'cooperative that spawned Lewis, Anthony Braxton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Henry Threadgill and many more valued improvisers and composers. Power Stronger than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music is very dense but very readable, filled with fascinating stories, capsule bios and rewarding side trips. Lewis has a gift for explaining abstruse… more »