Blue Note


The Finest In Jazz Since 1939
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Artists - Herbie Lewis



Recording period between


Herbie Lewis towers among the premier bassists of the hard bop era, contributing to seminal sessions headlined by McCoy Tyner, Les McCann, and Jackie McLean. Born February 17, 1941, in Pasadena, CA, Lewis grew up alongside future jazz icon Bobby Hutcherson, and according to legend he was responsible for persuading Hutcherson to first adopt his trademark vibes. A prodigious talent with a rich, buoyant sound, Lewis was not yet 17 years old when he made his recorded debut on Harold Land's 1958 session Grooveyard. The acclaimed follow-up, The Fox, further solidified his growing reputation, and he spent the early '60s touring and recording with McCann, additionally guesting with Shirley Scott and the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet. With 1962's landmark McLean date Let Freedom Ring, Lewis joined the Blue Note Records stable, and in the decade to follow there he cut a series of classic recordings, including Stanley Turrentine's soul-jazz gem That's Where It's At, Dodo Greene's My Hour of Need, and Sam Rivers' New Conception -- he also reunited with Hutcherson for sessions including Stick-Up! and Now! From 1967 to 1970 Lewis recorded and toured with Tyner, collaborating on celebrated sets including Tender Moments and Time for Tyner. In the decade to follow, he also cut sessions with Archie Shepp, Chico Freeman, and Gary Bartz. In 1977 Lewis founded the Jazz Studies Program at the New College of California in San Francisco, and served as an educator for a quarter century. After retiring from academia in 2002, he married and settled in Minneapolis. After a battle with cancer, Lewis died May 18, 2007. ~ Jason Ankeny