LONNIE LISTON SMITH — Expansions (review)

LONNIE LISTON SMITH — Expansions album cover Album · 1975 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Sean Trane
After the fairly good but uneven Cosmic Funk album, LL-S came back the following year with Expansions, an album much n the same line, both in musical direction, but also ins unevenness, as it proposes some pretty soppy tracks. The Cosmic Echoes group (was it ever really?) line-up built on the CF album is already fairly changed, with only Killan, Don Smith and Liston himself remaining, but we hear the return of ex-Pharoah member Cecil McBee on bass. Graced with a superb (if slightly flattened) gatefold artwork, Expansions was again released on the Flying Dutchman label, a few months after Cosmic Funk.

The opening title track, is rather reminiscent of mid-70’s Santana, but with a dominating Rhodes instead of guitar and with Don Smith’s excellent vocals and flute solo to boot, so it adds up a unique feel. The outstanding Desert Night follows, filled with serenity and beauty that you could only find in the Arizona, Nevada or Sahara nocturnal hours. However Summer Days has an already-heard (déjà-entendu, anyone?) somewhere else feel, with that rumba-samba rhythm riff that is indeed reminiscent (but can’t pin it as I write it now) of a cover of a better-known similar track. Its over-repetitive nature overstays its welcome halfway through, though.

The flipside opens extremely well with the up-tempo Voodoo Woman, with its shrilling flute, and later on Shadows is much in the same mould. Unfortunately, the album takes a wrong curve with the soppy sung-ballad, Peace. As if that wasn’t enough, the following My Love goes even further down the overly-sentimental road.

So, Expansions is still a very-worthy album, but it opens much better than it closes, but that’s the beauty of the compact disc, one flick of the eject button can end your plight. Definitely still worth investigating for there are three excellent tracks.

Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

In D World Fusion
BROOKLYN RAGA MASSIVE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Jahari Masamba Unit : Pardon My French Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
MADLIB
Buy this album from MMA partners
Universe RnB
NEAL SCHON
Buy this album from MMA partners
Haunted Carbonek Jazz Related Improv/Composition
MARTIN PYNE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Papa John Creach - "Bumble Bee Blues"
PAPA JOHN CREACH
js· 108 minutes ago
Great 3 Kikuchi=Peacock=Togashi - Begin the Beguine (Full Album)
GREAT 3 (MASABUMI KIKUCHI - GARY PEACOCK - MASAHIKO TOGASHI)
snobb· 12 hours ago
The Way You Say I Think You Think
GIOVANNI CIGUI
js· 21 hours ago
Dans mon pays
MATTHIEU BORDENAVE
js· 21 hours ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us