Eric Lewis' career has circulated both in and out of what he calls "the jazz republic." Performing under his given name in the 1990s, he was a powerful up-and-coming pianist who toured in the bands of Wynton Marsalis and Elvin Jones. As his career progressed -- or failed to, from a business perspective -- he found that a lot of contemporary rock music also spoke to him deeply. So performing under the name ELEW, he devised a new theatrical, high-energy method of solo piano he called rockjazz, and his cover songs took him to TED Conferences, national tours, America's Got Talent, celebrity gatherings and the White House. But he never left the late-night straight-ahead jam sessions: In fact, he's just recorded And To The Republic, a return to the jazz trio format featuring some major players.
Hear the radio episode here:
SKIP TO: 3:11 - "Heartbeats" 9:00 - Leaving the jazz world 12:07 - "Quirk Work" 21:06 - And To The Republic 24:05 - "Medicine Man"
Recorded Jan. 3, 2016 @ Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center
MUSICIANS Eric Lewis (bandleader and piano), Reginald Veal (bass), Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums)