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MICHAEL C. LEWIS/Reflection: Trumpeter with a solid sense of the past and an eye toward the future turns in a solid, smoking contemporary jazz date that is loaded with it’s own personality even when you know it’s following in Miles’ footsteps (lip prints?). With the best of the seventies attitude of jazz/funk at it’s core, this is a fine display of chops that have been simmering long enough and are now ready to be served. Easy to enjoy even if you are a lightweight jazzbo looking to get your feet a little wetter.
Chris Spector – Midwest Record (Jul 9, 2010)
REVIEW: Michael C. Lewis’ “Reflection”
Published July 17th, 2010 at 10:12 pm in Music Reviews
This is one of those massage albums that you’ll want to be sure to remain moist for throughout its duration, for anything less would mean chapped hands. Reflection (self-released) is a brilliant album from trumpeter Michael C. Lewis, who at times plays with the unfiltered smoothness of Miles Davis, but he is at his best when he puts the Miles hat on the side and just plays in the key of Lewis. The album is a nice mixture of smooth jazz with some of that quiet storm you know and love, mixing up soulful tones with a solo and walls of synth madness that immediately brings up that vibe you’re looking for in a romantic situation.
Arguably, one can just let this album go in the background but I think his playing is worthy of your attention, for while he is more than capable of putting himself on automatic, he doesn’t do that. There are a few mid-tempo songs but in this setting they’re not as good as the slow jams, yet I would love to hear how he plays in an uptempo setting with capable musicians. The mid-tempo songs only bring forward the fact that the drums and percussion are programmed. I have nothing against them, but with Lewis’ style of playing he needs genuine drums to work off of. A necessity, of course not, but this is what I would like to hear, perhaps in future projects.
If it’s romance you want, Reflection is the perfect album to suit your needs. If it’s fine musicianship from a trumpeter who knows what he’s doing, Lewis is your man of the hour.
Michael C. Lewis
Best Price $8.99 or Buy New $8.99
John Book – This is Book’s Music (Jul 17, 2010)
Review: I am not usually a big fan of rhythm programming in music but a good musician with a handful of nice compositions could make overlook it. That is the case with Michael C. Lewis new CD Reflection.
Almost all tracks on this album are originals, in a smooth jazz style, where Michael shows his sensitivity, great tone and technique. The album starts with Reflection (Sunrise), a ballad that perfectly reflects the tranquility of the morning hours. But you will also find upbeat, funky music like In the night time and Gulf Breeze with Wendell Brooks providing some interesting rhythms patterns for Michael melodies and the R&B style of I dedicate my heart. Miles to go, a funk track mixed with a little bit of hip hop.
Michael shows his romantic side on the ballad I need your love and the sensuality of the night on Night Fall. Reflection (Sunset) ends up the album in a relaxing mood, with ideal melodies to listen to after a long stressful day.
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre Jazz Times (August 8, 2010)
When I first put this CD in the player and the first notes rang out I would have sworn that I was hearing Herb Alpert’s trumpet, from something he recorded and didn’t make the grade for the Rise sessions back in the 80s. How wrong could I be, it was of course Michael C Lewis and his opening track, Reflection – a lovely, melodious introduction to the album and the musician. Track two, Gulf Breeze had me thinking of Miles Davis, back in his ‘Cool’ period. Now, I don’t mean to imply that Mr Lewis is a copycat, but his lovely playing does bring back memories of the styles of other musicians, and of course, all musicians are influenced by their elders. With both trumpet and flugal horn Michael C Lewis is a master, he simply weaves magic out of each instrument, and then he goes to prove that he is also an able vocalist, offering soulful vocals on a few tracks. This is one of the most melodic, slightly funky and extremely tasteful jazz albums I have had the pleasure to listen to.
There is something of the funk-jazz of the Crusaders in there too, which adds a velvet sheen to the music – mostly self-compositions, but there are a few covers, like the Carpenters’ We’ve Only Just Begun. I think Reflection has the crossover appeal to attract the soul and jazz audiences, and repeat the success George Benson found when he mixed soul and jazz together. This is a very fine album – seek it out.
The Borderland (Musicwatch Column) UK (August, 2010)