DR LONNIE SMITH — Keep On Lovin' (review)

DR LONNIE SMITH — Keep On Lovin' album cover Album · 1976 · RnB Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
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.
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