Judy Lewis | Prayer In Black & White

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Moods: Featuring Piano
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Prayer In Black & White

by Judy Lewis

A new take on the of jazz - classical blend. Rich with lyrical melodies, subtly driving rhythms, and stunning improvisations. Judy Lewis with Eli Magen & Shahar Haziza, in the tradition of the great Jazz Trios.
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. My Funny Valentine
11:23 $0.99
2. The Uncertainty of Doors
4:36 $0.99
3. The Way Home
8:29 $0.99
4. Too Simple for Words
10:38 $0.99
5. Prayer In Black & White
12:23 $0.99
6. Child's Play
5:03 $0.99
7. Just Another Stupid Love Song
9:31 $0.99
8. Missing
4:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Judy Lewis Story
By Motti Cohen
JMC Promotions UK

"Judy lewis enters a room like an electrical storm...quiet, but foreboding of a force to be dealt with." So said Hadara Levin Aredy of Judy Lewis 4 years ago in an interview for the City Voice. Since then, this high powered career woman has proven herself a formidable figure on the international contemporary Jazz music scene with a style so unique that John Fordham of The Guardian has called her "no clone of anybody else".

I first met Judy in late 1999. A family friend had suggested that while on holiday in Israel I look up an interesting Jazz pianist. Judy had just sold her brand new Ford Fiesta for $12,000 to finance the recording and release of her first album, "Weaver of Dreams". That fact should have, in itself, given me a hint as to who it was I was going to be dealing with. What I found, in fact, was a single Mom of 4 small children, working a 40 hour a week day job, still finding 4 to 5 hours a day to practice and promote her music. Our first conversation was a bantering of jazz drummers' names (I myself, being a drummer), a comparison of their styles and Judy's very strong statements of preference for one over the other. Judy told me that she was in the process of putting together a new Trio lineup since her drummer had been diagnosed with a life threatening illness and her bass player was planning a move to Germany to study music. One more in a long line of hurdles that didn't seem to faze her or dim the conviction she had in the music she created. Little did I know that just one year later would begin a lifelong collaboration as producer for this unique 21st century artist and determined career woman.

Judy Lewis was born, Judy Levine, in Milwaukee, Wis. on February 19th, 1958. She began classical piano studies at age 7 and by age 9 it was clear to all, including herself, that she would be a formidable musical entity in the future. As she put prize after prize under her belt she began to create a name for herself in the Classical world. At age 15 she won the Wisconsin Young Artists Competition, at age 16 the Wisconsin All Stars Competition, and at age 17 the Outstanding Music & Youth Award which included a performance with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Judy continued her studies after high school at the illustrious Columbia University in New York, but her stay there only lasted 2 years. During her first year of college Judy became active in the campus's Jewish community and enthrawled by the spiritual side of Jewish teachings. Little by little Music was replaced by God as Judy was drawn into the tightly closed world of religiousity. After 2 years in university Judy moved to Jerusalem to study religion fulltime. Two years later she married a rabbinical student and left music forever...or so everyone thought.

For 10 years Judy remained a part of the most fervently religious sect in Israel. She had 4 children, worked odd jobs to make money, and tried to keep thoughts of her music buried as deeply as possible for, of course, in that world women were discouraged from playing public roles, particularly in the Arts and any connection to non-Jewish culture was strongly frowned upon. But, somewhere in year 10 Judy became restless. Thoughts of her previous life, her former self, and her one life's dream began to haunt her. In 1995, Judy ended her unsupportive marriage, left the religious community for good and set out on her own, now a single mother of 4, to salvage her dreams.

Having no degree and no job experience except for odd jobs, Judy began to take in private piano students and worked to complete her university degree through correspondence study. Columbia University was not accepting remote learning at that time so she completed her degree through a New York state college. A year later she got a job as music teacher at a local primary school and enrolled in the Rubin Academy of Music to get a B.A. in Music Education and a teaching certification, which she received 2 years later. (Today Judy is director of the top music education program in Jerusalem, a frequent advisor for student teachers and a pioneer in Jazz music education in Israel.)

Having settled the issues of supporting her family, Judy turned to the difficult task of reclaiming her standing as a professional musician. For 3 years Judy played Classical music, but with little passion, until one day she heard her first Jazz concert ever given by a visiting pianist from L.A. In seconds she realized that this was the voice she had been looking for. The dream was reborn. The rest is a self composed fairy tale in the making...

Today, Judy Lewis has 4 albums of original Jazz music on the market, distributed worldwide and reviewed by the world's leading Jazz and Music Journals. She is managing director of her own record label, "Visionary Insomniac Records", has toured Europe, the Us and Israel and is soon to record two new albums, one for solo piano and voice and the other with her quartet, "Phoenix Over Manhattan". Her fans stretch from Los Angeles to Japan, from Italy to Russia.

Chrissie Murray of Jazz UK said, "She is an amazing lady". And this is only half of the story...

Motti Cohen
JMC Productions UK
Freelance Producer UK
Jerusalem Post Review
by Barry Davis
Sept. 2001

"Judy Lewis is probably the nearest thing we have here to Keith Jarrett. Her second album, Prayer in Black & White, reveals a pianist working at the very highest level of intensity and determined to make her own inner voice heard loud and clear.

Lewis is joined on this outing by young drummer Shahar Haziza and veteran bassist Eli Magen, with Guy Shoshani adding voacls on one of the eight tracks.

Magen, in particular is a revelation here. Over the past three decades Magen has been one of the mainstays of the Israeli Jazz scene and has generally performed definitively mainstream music. On Prayer in Black & White, Magen constantly surprises with unexpected forays, such as his midstream lead on My Funny Valentine which takes the Trio far away from the melodious theme into untested waters.

The other seven tracks are all Lewis original. There are more Jarrett-like references on The Way Home which opens with a subtly driving theme backed by Haziza's ungloved drumming. Haziza has gained something of a reputation as a percussion firebrand, and his more delicate work on this project is a welcome addition to his arsenal.

Magen's lugubriously lyrical bowed bass solo on The Way Home, followed by Lewis's energized bluesy and somewhat funky piano solo, is one of the high points of the album, while Haziza underpins both bass and piano on this number emphatically and sensitively.

Shoshani's soul-vocalese contribution to the title track adds a fourth dimension to a richly woven album on which Lewis makes a powerful statement as a mature composer and artist. Jarrett comparisons aside, Lewis definately has a lot to offer from her own musical and spiritual reserves, and one looks forward to further offerings with anticipation."



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