Paul James Lewis is a classical pianist living in Chicago, who has been the Principal Company/Performance Pianist for The Chicago Joffrey Ballet since 2002. Paul describes himself as “mainly a perfomer not a composer”, playing music written in the last hundred years. Paul has a special fondness for ragtime and piano music from the 1910’s – 1940’s, listing his favorite composers as being: Maurice Ravel, Leos Janacek, Ernesto Lecuona, Charles Griffes, Cyril Scott, Claude Debussy, Billy Mayerl, Rube Bloom, Dana Suesse, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Lothar Perl, Scott Joplin, Joseph Lamb, James Scott, and several others. Paul has recently included on his “MySpace” page his performance of Cy Walter’s “Isn’t It Romantic?”
I’ve just put up a new file of my playing an arrangement by Cy Walter of a Richard Rodgers song, “Isn’t It Romantic?”. Cy Walter was an amazing piano stylist of the 40’s and 50’s and played the best lounge rooms in the New York hotels. His technique was astonishing, yet never let the melody be washed away by improvisation or over-embellishment. I sometimes think of him as the Rachmaninoff of the cocktail pianists. Enjoy!