Personnel: George Lewis (clarinet); Joe Robichaux (piano).
Liner Note Author: George Lewis .
Recording information: New Orleans, LA (03/10/1964-11/28/1964).
Traditional jazz clarinetist George Lewis recorded an album of hymns at two separate sessions (March 10 and November 28, 1964) in a studio at 1101 Fern Street in New Orleans. The recordings were produced and engineered by Ed Lewis and released on Milneberg Records shortly thereafter. In 1999, this gentle offering was reissued on compact disc using the same label and listing number -- Milneburg 1. Lewis is backed by pianist Joe Robichaux (a man whose experience as pianist and bandleader reached back to the early '30s) and bassist Placide Adams. Any questions regarding the exact pitch of Lewis' clarinet should be pitched in favor of simple reverie and communion. Unfortunately, this release does not include the overdubbed version of "In the Upper Garden," which features in effect two George Lewises in duet. While spirituals have always been an indispensable element in the working repertoire of most New Orleans jazz musicians, Lewis had his own special way of handling sacred songs, and this lovely jazz hymnal is the logical culmination of his earlier excursions into this realm, Jazz at Vespers (1954) and Spirituals in Ragtime (1956). This edition also contains a seven-minute interview with George Lewis. ~ arwulf arwulf