Lost but not least! Webster Lewis and The Post-Pop, Space Rock, Be-Bop, Gospel Tabernackle Chorus and Orchestra BABY! – Do You Believe (Alternative Version) (The Club7 Live Tapes)
“Do you believe?” Do you believe like in miracles? As crazy as it may seem, I guess I kinda do. And most likely whenever referring to music and eventually coming to meet the unexpected. Such as on this live recording at Club 7 in Oslo dating from – could you believe it? – Jul. 30, 1971! This alternative version of ‘Do You Believe’ only seeing the light 25 years after as a part of the… ‘Live At Club 7’ album on Counterpoint Records.
Here we go into a so to say 17 minutes Jazz/Funk opera. With the too rare Judd Watkins on vocals along with Lewis on organ. Not to mention Stan Strickland and Bobby Green, respectively on Tenor and Alto saxophone.
Lucky we, BBE Records and Kev Beadle made it available on vinyl. This under the form of a compilation – ‘Private Collection Volume 3 (More Independent Jazz Sounds From The Seventies & Eighties)’ – which came to surface in October 2017.
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Born in Baltimore, MD, Webster Lewis earned a bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University before completing a master’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music.
He started playing Jazz with Bill Evans and Tony Williams. Eventually sharing the bill with The Post-Pop, Space Rock, Be-Bop, Gospel Tabernackle Chorus and Orchestra BABY! back in 1971. With this resulting in the recording of ‘Live At Club 7′, with some of its parts released as a part of an album on Sonet Records the year after. Then others including this alternative version of ‘Do You Believe’ comin’ up 36 years later in a new recording on Plastic Strip. Lewis also comin’ to share the duties with Arne Falck and Brett Borgen on the 72 ‘Menneskedøgn’ album, equally on Sonet Records.
Webster Lewis relocated to Los Angeles, CA in the mid-70’s. He then signed a record deal with Epic, jumping into Disco Music. He released 4 albums for the label between 1976 and 1981. With ‘8 For The 80’s’ featuring ‘You Deserve To Dance’ being his third one, co-produced with Herbie Hancock. Another gem worth the mention being the title track of his 1981 ‘Let Me Be The One’ album. And he’s also responsible for The Love Unlimited Orchestra Presents Mr. Webster Lewis ‘Welcome Aboard’ album which he co-produced with Barry White during the same year.
Last but not least, he made himself quite a reputation as an arranger and a producer. Most likely for Gwen McCrae with the memorable ‘Keep The Fire Burning’. And also Michael Wycoff‘s famous ‘Looking Up To You’. A cut which Zhané sampled back in 1993 on ‘Hey Mr DJ’.
Lewis also wrote two movie soundtracks (‘The Hearse’ and ‘The Sky Is Grey’). He then left the record business, making a successful career in the field of TV commercials.
He sadly died in Barryville, NY on Nov. 20, 2002 as a result of diabetes.