Primarily based in Leeds, The Lewis Express is comprised of many of the musicians that have graced previous ATA releases: George Cooper, Piano (Abstract Orchestra) Neil Innes, Bass (The Sorcerers, The Magnificent Tape Band, Tony Burkill), Sam Hobbs, Drums (Dread Supreme, Tony Burkill, Matthew Bourne) and Pete Williams, Percussion (The Sorcerers, The Magnificent Tape Band, Tony Burkill).Recorded over an intense two-day session, 'Clap Your Hands' is heavily influenced by the classic soul jazz recordings of The Young Holt Trio / Young Holt Unlimited, and Ramsey Lewis, from who this group take their name. As with many of the classic Ramsey Lewis cuts this album was recorded live, capturing the rich inter-relationship between the players and leaving in some of that chunky room noise.
'Clap your hands' builds on the template set by their eponymous debut album and further explores the 60's soul-jazz of Ramsey lewis, Young-Holt and Ray Charles as well as the latin boogaloo of Eddie Cano and Pete Terrace. The band's intention was to produce an album of dancefloor friendly, uplifting, funky soul-jazz with a stripped back line up of Piano, Bass, Drums and Percussion. Ranging from the mod-jazz of 'Stomp Your Feet' (a Ramsey-esque groover that's just made-to-measure for dancers) and 'Out From The Rock' (Funky drums and plenty of blues-dipped soul from the Piano) to the driving boogaloo of title track 'Clap Your Hands' and the Ellignton-esque 'Moola Umemo' (Remeniscent of Ellington's 'Money Jungle'). Each track is, in it's own way, aimed squarley at the dancefloor and sure to go down well with both DJs and listeners alike.
"Clap Your Hands" is certainly a more contained album from The Lewis Express, whose debut moved around different camps. It's a tighter, more focussed record that wears it's inspiration proudly on it's sleeve.
Radio support expected from Gilles Peterson (BBC6 Music, Worldwide Fm), Craig Charles (BBC6 Music, Radio 2), Jamie Cullum (Radio 2) and Huey Morgan (BBC6 Music).