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 Tuesday, 06 October 2015
Bassist Herbie Lewis Dies at 66 PDF Print
Written by Don Berryman   
Monday, 21 May 2007
Herbie Lewis and Frank Morgan Andrea Canter
One of the finest hard-bop bassists of the '60s and '70s, musician and educator Herbie Lewis died Friday, May 18th in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Herbie Lewis played and recorded with many prominent jazz musicians, including Cannonball Adderley, Bobby Hutcherson, Freddie Hubbard, Harold Land, Jackie McLean, Archie Shepp, and McCoy Tyner. Herbie Lewis's recording credits read like a who's who of jazz. He can be heard on some of the seminal recordings of the era, including Jackie McLean's landmark masterpiece Let Freedom Ring, Bobby Hutcherson's Stick-Up and Now!, Stanley Turrentine's soul-jazz classic That's Where It's At, McCoy Tyner's Tender moments (Tyner's first recording leading a large ensemble) and Time for Tyner, and many more.

Herbie Lewis Andrea Canter

Born on February 17th, 1941, Herbie Lewis grew up in Pasadena where as teenagers, he and Bobby Hutcherson practiced together in Hutcherson's garage. It was Herbie who convinced Hutcherson to play vibes. Herbie was a solid, swinging musician both as accompanist and soloist. He recorded with Lennie McBrowne, Harold Land, the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet and Les McCann in the late '50s and early '60s. Herbie moved between California and New York several times during the '60s. At that time Lewis also recorded with Dave Pike, Stanley Turrentine, Jackie McLean, Sam Rivers, Bobby Hutcherson, and Freddie Hubbard. He played in Cannonball Adderley's group in 1966, and played and recorded with McCoy Tyner from 1967 to 1970. During the '70s and '80s Herbie recorded with Tete Montoliu, Chico Freeman, Billy Higgins, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Gary Bartz and Archie Shepp among others.

Herbie Lewis was founder of the Jazz Studies Program at New College of California in San Francisco where he taught for 15 years, from 1977 until 2002. Herbie married in 2002 and moved to the Twin Cities in 2002, and was still an active musician. Twin Citians have had the privilege to hear him perform occasional gigs at Twin Cities jazz clubs and festivals.

Herbie Lewis is survived by his wife Ruth, Daughter Kendall and granddaughter Jha' nee.

Here is a video clip of Herbie performing on 12/31/03 at the Artists' Quarter in St Paul:

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