DR LONNIE SMITH

Soul Jazz / Fusion / RnB / Post Bop • United States
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Organist Lonnie Smith has often been confused with keyboardist/pianist Lonnie Liston Smith -- and, in fact, more than a few retailers have wrongly assumed that they're one and the same. In the mid-'60s, the Hammond hero earned recognition for his membership in George Benson's classic quartet before going on to play with Lou Donaldson (contributing some memorable solos to the alto saxman's hit 1967 album Alligator Bogaloo) and recording enjoyable dates of his own for Blue Note. For all their accessibility and commercial appeal, funk-influenced Smith sessions like 1968's Think and 1970's Drives showed that he could be quite imaginative. Smith, who later became Dr. Lonnie Smith (for "no particular reason," the same reason he gives for why he always wears a turban), remained an inspired representative of soul-jazz and did some solid work with Donaldson in the '90s. The 21st century saw him step up the pace, releasing several read more...
Thanks to js for the addition and snobb for the updates

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DR LONNIE SMITH Discography

DR LONNIE SMITH albums / top albums

DR LONNIE SMITH Finger-Lickin' Good album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Finger-Lickin' Good
Soul Jazz 1966
DR LONNIE SMITH Think! album cover 3.21 | 3 ratings
Think!
Soul Jazz 1969
DR LONNIE SMITH Turning Point album cover 2.61 | 4 ratings
Turning Point
Soul Jazz 1969
DR LONNIE SMITH Drives album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Drives
Soul Jazz 1970
DR LONNIE SMITH Mama Wailer album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Mama Wailer
Soul Jazz 1971
DR LONNIE SMITH Afro-Desia album cover 3.34 | 4 ratings
Afro-Desia
Fusion 1975
DR LONNIE SMITH Keep On Lovin' album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Keep On Lovin'
RnB 1976
DR LONNIE SMITH Funk Reaction album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Funk Reaction
Soul Jazz 1977
DR LONNIE SMITH Gotcha' album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gotcha'
Soul Jazz 1978
DR LONNIE SMITH When The Night Is Right ! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
When The Night Is Right !
Soul Jazz 1980
DR LONNIE SMITH Los Grandes Del Jazz 32 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Los Grandes Del Jazz 32
Soul Jazz 1981
DR LONNIE SMITH Purple Haze album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Purple Haze
Soul Jazz 1994
DR LONNIE SMITH Føxy Lady album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Føxy Lady
Soul Jazz 1994
DR LONNIE SMITH The Lonnie Smith = John Abercrombie Trio : Afro Blue album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Lonnie Smith = John Abercrombie Trio : Afro Blue
Soul Jazz 1994
DR LONNIE SMITH The Turbanator album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Turbanator
Soul Jazz 2000
DR LONNIE SMITH Boogaloo to Beck (feat. David 4.00 | 1 ratings
Boogaloo to Beck (feat. David "Fathead" Newman)
Soul Jazz 2003
DR LONNIE SMITH Too Damn Hot! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Too Damn Hot!
Soul Jazz 2004
DR LONNIE SMITH Jungle Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jungle Soul
Soul Jazz 2006
DR LONNIE SMITH Rise Up! album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Rise Up!
Soul Jazz 2008
DR LONNIE SMITH The Art Of Organizing album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Art Of Organizing
Soul Jazz 2009
DR LONNIE SMITH Spiral album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Spiral
Soul Jazz 2010
DR LONNIE SMITH Evolution album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Evolution
Fusion 2016

DR LONNIE SMITH EPs & splits

DR LONNIE SMITH live albums

DR LONNIE SMITH Move Your Hand album cover 3.25 | 3 ratings
Move Your Hand
Soul Jazz 1970
DR LONNIE SMITH Live At Club Mozambique album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Live At Club Mozambique
Soul Jazz 1995
DR LONNIE SMITH The Healer album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Healer
Fusion 2012
DR LONNIE SMITH In The Beginning, Volumes 1 & 2 album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
In The Beginning, Volumes 1 & 2
Soul Jazz 2013
DR LONNIE SMITH All In My Mind album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
All In My Mind
Post Bop 2018

DR LONNIE SMITH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

DR LONNIE SMITH re-issues & compilations

DR LONNIE SMITH Lonnie Smith / Alvin Queen : Lenox and Seventh album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lonnie Smith / Alvin Queen : Lenox and Seventh
Soul Jazz 2000

DR LONNIE SMITH singles (0)

DR LONNIE SMITH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

DR LONNIE SMITH Reviews

DR LONNIE SMITH Funk Reaction

Album · 1977 · Soul Jazz
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Rokukai
(Dr) Lonnie Smith had settled into funky lite fuzak by the end of the seventies, trying his best to appeal to the jazz buying masses. Smith's appeal is his tasteful, elegant delivery of properly chosen and, most often, composed material. As with most of his output from the mid 1970's The Doctor's keyboards never dominate this session. It reads as super chill starsky and hutch type lounge music. While performed expertly, it can seem a little stale on the palettes of some. Sax Solos on "Bobbitt's Other Song" and "For the Love of It" add energy to this almost lost jazzfunkssoul gem/typical late seventies record riding the waves generated by Herbie Hancock and a host of others. The good news for the weary is there's no dabbling in disco, as Lonnie does on his next, and last record for sixteen years. The cover art adds to the cheese factor.

DR LONNIE SMITH Keep On Lovin'

Album · 1976 · RnB
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Rokukai
This one is sure to make every purist cringe.

Dr. Lonnie Smith's 1976 Groove Merchant release "Keep on Lovin'" sees Smith abandon the bop-based souljazz and funk stylings he'd been perfecting since the late 1960's. Gone is the B-3, in comes Fender Rhodes.

By all accounts, this is a mainstream R and B record that draws more of it's inspiration from "Innervisions" than it does "Birth of the Cool". "Keep on Lovin'" is a nice up-tempo groover that showcases Smith's mediocre voice. "Sizzle Stick" is a smoking souljazz-funk extraveganza, a Tour de Force of soul, funk, and jazz. Easily my favorite song on the disc, and a shining example of dancefloor jazz at it's best. This one sounds like an outtake from Grover Washington Jr's "Mister Magic" sessions. "Lean Meat" completes side one, and is where Van McCoy ripped of his idea for "The Hustle".

"What I Want" is a slow ballad with vocals, "Filet-O-Sole" is another excellent dancefloor instrumental, and the closer, "No Tears Tomorrow" doesn't deviate from the plan.

In all, this is a nice package for people who like their jazz with heavy doses of R and B, even light disco. It resembles a high quality CTI/Kudu production in every respect and makes a nice addition to Smith's catalogue.

DR LONNIE SMITH Afro-Desia

Album · 1975 · Fusion
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js
When “Afro-Desia” opens you are likely to think you have one of those typical mid-70s soul funk jazz sides, but don’t take the needle off the record because this one is about wander into some fairly strange and interesting territory. Side one starts with an almost disco leaning bass line and borderline campy vocals, but after Joe Lovano’s fiery sax solo, Lonnie Smith brings on the weird synthesizers and the song goes into a strange percussion driven psychedelia before fading out. The rest of side one gets even more out there as “Spirits Free” presents an angular funky bass line topped with phasing distorted keyboards ala Miles Davis, as well as another great solo from Lovano. Even though he is surrounded by heavyweights like Lonnie Smith and George Benson, Joe emerges as the real star on this album. As this song continues, Smith begins to play bizarre melodies on the synthesizer backed by his distorted organ invoking the spirit of Sun Ra and early Funkadelic in the process. Overall this side is reminiscent of other classic psychedelic 70s jazz albums like Les McCann’s “Invitation to Openess”, Buddy Terry’s “Pure Dynamite” or countless spin-offs from Herbie’s Sextet.

Side two enters into slightly more traditional territory with a fast fusion jazz samba followed by an up-tempo cover of “Impressions” (renamed) and closing with a classic hard bop soul jazz groove. Although a little more traditional than side one, this side still carries the bohemian vibe of the “hippie-jazz” era where everyone picks up a shaker or conga when they aren’t soloing and there is plenty of incense, sandals and dashikis to go around for everyone. With one foot in the world of psychedelic fusion and the other in the more aggressive end of the 70s soul jazz groove, “Afro-Desia” is a great very 70s flavored funky jazz record.

DR LONNIE SMITH Think!

Album · 1969 · Soul Jazz
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Sean Trane
One of the Doctor’s more respected release, Think! is seen by some as the companion album to Turning Point ( I kind of beg to differ, though), even if the horns lack the prestige of its sibling. Indeed, if Newman is no Priester or Maupin, but he’s no slouch either. As for the rest of the band, you’ll find once more guitarist Sparks, trumpeter Morgan, and of course, the Doctor himself (although the “Dr” thing came sometimes later) alongside a bunch of very meriting lesser-knowns. Recorded in one session in the NY dog days of summer of 68, the album is one of those over-rated icons that abound the Blue Note later-60’s catalogue.

Opening on the South-African master Masekela, Son of Ice Bag is lengthy and energetic jazz that has everything to get you grooving, including over-mixed drums (the Van Gelder remaster-remix?) and cool horns to boot. Once the following slower-starting Call Of The Wild awakes, the two congas and the timbales are driving you quickly insane with an extra-rapid rhythm and the remaining 11 minutes are used for soloing and jamming. A nice and smooth rendition of Aretha’s Think! track can bring a smile upon first discovery, but it won’t survive well repeated listens, unlike the trad Three Blind Mice piece, which seems to have a purpose other than just filling time and tapes in recording studios. The closing Slouchin’ is probably wisely titled, because we’re in a gentle jazz, where the over-mixed drums returns, but again the groove is there and the gentle instrumental interplay gets a gentle ray of the spotlight, but it’s really nothing to write home bout.

Normally, this 60’s & 70’s instrumental JR/F nuthead should love this kind of music, but something is simply lacking: real energy, a sense of urgency, a lack of purpose, a will to challenge, instead of just please. Don’t get me wrong, this is pleasant enough to even have non-jazz listeners enjoying it, but for the demanding jazz buff, it’s just too lightweight, like most (all?) of the Doctor’s vinyl prescriptions.

DR LONNIE SMITH Move Your Hand

Live album · 1970 · Soul Jazz
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Sean Trane
Recorded over one gig in Harlem in August 69, you’d have a hard time believing that Move Your Hand was indeed recorded live, not least because one can’t hear much (if any at all) of the audience. That night’s line did not feature many big stars like on some of the Doctor’s studio album: you’d have to be pretty well versed in second division sidemen (no disrespect whatsoever to them, though), as you won’t find anyone that participated on Turning Point or Think! The album is a rather short set made from two well-known covers and two Smith compositions.

The two covers are generally smooth renditions ala Benson or Deodato (although the latter had a bite that was unequalled), but both the Lieber-Stoller-penned Charlie Brown and the Donovan Sunshine Superman are very enjoyable on first discovery, they don’t really survive freshly repeated listens, as they sound a bit like lounge or piano bar (read organ-bar, of course) pieces, because the jazzy arrangements are just too gentle and lack energy and both had overstayed their welcome halfway through. As for the two Smith pieces, Layin’ In The Cut is also a gentle piece, but Smith’s organ finally gets a little space to expand and the two hornmen enhance his playing with excellent tense lines that adds a bit of drama. As for the more energetic title track, Smith is throwing a few verses and wails that add a bit to the track’s soul added to Goshay’s congas, to make it the album’s best track.

Thrown n as a bonus track (apparently taken from the same gig) on the CD, the aptly-titled 12-mins Dancing In The Easy Groove is indeed just that, a long groove to allow for lengthy solos, and it actually fits quite well with the rest of the album it was thrown upon. Normally, this 60’s & 70’s instrumental JR/F nuthead should love this kind of music, but something is simply lacking: real energy, a sense of urgency, a lack of purpose, a will to challenge, instead of just please. Just too gentle and with to few substance to it for me, and to be honest, a little too mainstream for the Blue Note label it was released on.

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