Saxman Sonny Lewis is a legendary jazz musician who almost slipped away into history. His career was launched in Paris in 1961, sitting in with Bud Powell, and spanned the next three decades. At home in any setting, he performed with Art Blakey, Barry White, poet William S. Burroughs, and classical composer Terry Riley, and played on a wide range of recordings, including three gold albums with The Whispers. However, until now, there have been no dedicated jazz releases focused on his astounding talent.
Discovered among the musician's personal collection of tapes, the archival recording used to produce this new release, "Fillmore Street Live", was taken from the master recording of a major street fair in San Francisco in 1998. Cars and buses were rerouted away from the busy intersection of Fillmore and California streets, where a large crowd assembled to hear the Sonny Lewis Quartet celebrate the strong jazz tradition of the Fillmore Street neighborhood on the 4th of July.
Featuring Sonny Lewis on flute and tenor sax, "Fillmore Street Live" is a straight-ahead tour-de-force, featuring classic jazz standards from Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck. Latin rhythms are explored as well—the album opens with Sonny on flute, playing a song from the film Black Orpheus, and concludes with the group bringing the crowd to its feet for a rollicking rendition of St. Thomas. The Sonny Lewis Quartet features Percy Scott, keys; Harley White, Sr., bass; and Paul Smith, drums; with each musician making significant contributions.
The album is available for streaming or download on Amazon, Apple Music, CDBaby, iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, and most online outlets. CDs can be purchased through Amazon or CDBaby.com. "Fillmore Street Live" features extensive liner notes from noted jazz critic Scott Yanow, and was recently featured in San Francisco's "The New Fillmore."
"Fillmore Street Live" is a copyrighted work published by Sonoma Coast Records. Dedicated to bringing quality music back into the music industry, the solar-powered independent label brings listeners an astonishing mix of superb archival and newly-recorded psychedelic rock, jazz, and blues releases.