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Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom


Organ Colossus

RON LEVY'S WILD KINGDOM: 'Organ Colossus' The Very Best of RLWK

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Organ Colossus - The Very Best of Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom

    01. Sons Of Abraham
    02. Best Cookies
    03. Soulard Soul Stew
    04. El Fuego de Lowell
    Funky Monkey Boogaloo
    06. The Wes Side
    07. Cuch Cuch
    08. Like Like Dope
    09. Confusions
    10. Spangled Star Boogaloo

    * - click title to download an mp3 sample

About Ron Levy's Green Eyed Soul

This 10 song anthology special Japanese import from the prestigious P-Vine label focuses on the up-tempo, funkier & wilder grooves from the last three RLWK releases, 'Live', 'Green Eyed Soul' and 'Finding My Way'. So grab a copy, put on your dancin' shoes & party on!

Ron Levy interview with Ko Enomoto of P-Vine

Ko: Why did you decide to start up
LEV: After many years of working with many wonderful people and availed of many wonderful learning opportunities and partnerships, but also some disappointments here and there, all balanced out, I felt my talents and energy would be best served by focusing on my music, on my own terms, free of any 'encumbrances'. Also, I like my new boss, a whole lot better now!

Ko: Which would be the most favorite album of all the albums you have made so far, if you had to choose?
LEV: This one and the next one! It's all about growing musically and spiritually. I feel I must concentrate, focusing forward on what we're working on now and not so much, looking back. Each one, I tried to do my 100% best, at the time. I hope people check them out and enjoy them all.

Ko: We heard that the first instrument you played was Clarinet, but why did you start playing the organ?
LEV: Well, first of all, I was never a good clarinetist, unless you like 'squeaking'. When I was 15, I saw Ray Charles with Billy Preston in concert, then a month later I saw Jimmy Smith, Bro' Jack McDuff and Groove Holmes. I was foolish enough to believe I could play almost as good as them, [although I just hope I play the best I can play as myself]. I was also foolish enough not to foresee I'd be lugging a 400 pound Hammond organ around everywhere the rest of my life!

Ko: How did you get recognized by the artists like Albert King and BB King? And what do you think you learned from those artists?
LEV: Albert heard my teenage band play on some local dates here in Boston when we opened for him back in 1968. He fired his band on the spot, and hired my drummer and me. B.B. heard me playing with Albert and offered me $50 more a week and an opportunity to tour with him on the Rolling Stones tour in 1969. What would you do? I stayed with BB for seven years! Albert taught me to be 'effective' in everything you play. I learned professionalism and grace from BB.

Ko: With Roomful of Blues, you have worked with many big artists such as Eddy "Cleanhead" Vinson. Is there any interesting episode in playing with those artists?
LEV: The late Earl King comes most to mind. He was a great songwriter with very clever lyrics, harmonies and chord changes. I learned a lot from him. He was a great storyteller. We spent many great times together, drinking coffee [sometimes Bourbon], telling jokes and stories, staying up all night, then going to the studio to cut the next day, then sneaking off to the race track in New Orleans, 2-3 days in a row.

Ko: When it comes to playing, what do you focus on most? In other words, what aspect of playing do you pay most attention to?
LEV: I'd say emotion and energy, rhythm & melody. Conveying the 'feel'. That said; it all has to come together and sound cool.

Ko: I feel that your music always has a sense of humor in addition to beautiful melodies and strong rhythms. Where do you think that sense of humor came from?
LEV: Maybe some from Earl King? He always had some comical twists and ironies in his songs. Also, my Grandfather was a great Yiddish storyteller and practical joker as well as a serious scholar. He used to make me laugh with many heartwarming stories, which always had a valuable 'life lesson' as well. I too, enjoy giving people happy surprises and helping them forget the daily burdens of life through laughter. It sure beats crying and complaining!

Ko: Can you tell us how the Wild Kingdom started and why did you name the group "Wild Kingdom"?
LEV: My first recording project under that name was with the members of Roomful of Blues and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. We were all young, pretty wild and lived like kings.

Ko: Do you listen to or have you listened to a lot of Prestige, Bluenote, or Atlantic releases?
LEV: Yes, indeed! I have close to 20,000 recordings in my collection of 45's, LPs & Cds. I listen to most everything except Opera, Hillbilly and Heavy Metal rock. Don't forget Creed Taylor on Verve & CTI, Willie Mitchell and Hi records, as well as Stax. King, Chess, Kent & Impulse too! The classics.

Ko: You have produced records by other artists, like Pucho and Charles Earland. What is the most important factor for you when you produce other people's music?
LEV: Mostly that they have a cool unique style when 'doin it' that moves me and hopefully others, enough to spend their hard earned money on. They do that by having something to say and saying it well.

Ko: If you had choose only one album to take to a desert island, what would it be?
LEV: This one! Seriously, I'm a record collector and would never put myself in that position of only having one choice or being on a deserted island. But, if I have to play this game for real, I'd say 'Live at Carnegie Hall 1964' or 'Bitches Brew' by Miles Davis, maybe 'Love Supreme' Coltrane, or anything by Wes Montgomery, or.............wait a minute, would there be a stereo there? Forget all that, given a choice, I'd rather have a pretty girl singing sweetly to me!

Ko: Can you give us short comments on Karl Denson and Melvin Sparks, both of whom you have worked with recently.
LEV: Karl Denson, no doubt is the hardest working and one of the most talented and focused musicians I've ever worked with. Melvin is one of my oldest and best friends. He's got a charming personality and is one of the smartest most gifted people I've ever known. We're musical soul mates and I pray we'll do many more successful projects together.

Ko: Lastly, can you give Japanese fans a message?
LEV: The first time I played for a Japanese audience [w/ BB King, 1972], it shocked me, in that the people really listened quietly, intently, and intelligently. They weren't socializing and talking, truly letting us as artists express ourselves in a pure silent ambience. They gave us a respect seldom found here in the States. At the time, it was puzzling because I didn't realize that this was what was happening. When we finished, everybody went absolutely crazy in appreciation, I then understood. I'll never forget that and hope I get to experience that again someday. So thank you for buying this Cd and hope to see you all soon! May G-d bless you all.

Email us @ Ron Levy / Levtron Productions
816 Elm St. #137
Manchester NH 03101

Fax - 603-625-1450