Dr. Lonnie Smith

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Dr. Lonnie Smith, December 2007

Dr. Lonnie Smith (actually only Lonnie Smith ; * 3. July 1942 in Lackawanna , New York ) is an American jazz - organist .

Live and act

Lonnie Smith came into contact with music at an early age and began to play the trumpet. He continued to sing with vocal groups like the Teen Kings . It was rather by accident that he began playing the Hammond organ at the age of 20 . His unorthodox style, based on rhythm & blues and Motown , quickly made him known regionally (he names Dionne Warwick , Gladys Knight , The Impressions as role models ). When he moved to New York City , he met jazz guitarist George Benson and founded the George Benson Quartet with him in 1966 .

Lonnie Smith first gained fame when the established saxophonist Lou Donaldson brought him and George Benson into his new band and thus to the jazz label Blue Note Records . The first collaboration was the album Alligator Boogaloo with the title track of the same name in 1967 . The record developed into Donaldson's most successful album to date and became a milestone in the emerging genre of soul jazz , not least thanks to the groovy organ sound. This was followed at short intervals by the three similarly structured albums Mr. Shing-A-Ling , Midnight Creeper and Everything I Play Is Funky , on which the organist could also put his own compositions, including the distinctive Peepin .

Lonnie Smith then started a solo career at Blue Note, as a result of which he recorded more than 30 albums under his own name. Well-known musicians such as Lee Morgan , David "Fat Head" Newman , King Curtis , George Adams , Bennie Maupin , Blue Mitchell and Joe Lovano took part.

Smith performed at the big jazz festivals with Dizzy Gillespie , Grover Washington junior , Frank Foster , Jimmy McGriff , Jimmy Scott , Ron Carter and Leon Thomas . He was also on stage with artists from the rhythm & blues and disco sector such as Gladys Knight , Dionne Warwick , Etta James , Esther Phillips , Joan Cartwright , the Impressions and the Coasters . After the disco wave subsided in the 1980s , Smith moved to South Florida, where he performed with local musicians. The acid jazz wave reawakened an interest in his music; he started again with his own groups (and with John Abercrombie and Marvin Smitty Smith and again with Lou Donaldson), but also played for recordings with soul jazz projects such as “Jazz Funk Masters”, “Chartbusters”, “Secret Agent Men” and the "Essence Allstars" as well as with Ximo Tebar . He also recorded "Organic Grooves" with Joey DeFrancesco , Kenny Garrett and Lenny White .

Artist title

"Dr. Lonnie Smith “ is a stage name. Smith allegedly received his "doctorate" from his fellow musicians for his virtuoso abilities on the organ. He answers the question of why he acts as "Dr." (and also why he during his performances always wearing a turban): "no particular reason" (dt. "No particular reason" ).

Discographic notes

As a band leader

  • 1967: Finger Lickin 'Good Soul Organ (Columbia)
  • 1969: Think! ( Blue note )
  • 1969: Turning Point (Blue Note)
  • 1969: Move Your Hand (live) (Blue Note)
  • 1970 (1995): Live at Club Mozambique (Blue Note)
  • 1970: Drives (Blue Note)
  • 1971: Mama Wailer (Kudu)
  • 1975: Afro-Desia (Groove Merchant)
  • 1976: Keep On Lovin ' (Groove Merchant)
  • 1977: Funk Reaction (Lester Radio Corporation)
  • 1978: Gotcha (Lester Radio Corporation)
  • 1983: Lonnie Smith / BJ Thomas - La Grande Storia Del Rock 93 (Curcio)
  • 1992: The Jazz Funk Masters feat Lonnie Smith - Live Jam! (P-Vine Records)
  • 2003: Boogaloo to Beck: A Tribute (Scufflin 'Records)
  • 2004: Too Darn Hot ( Palmetto Records )
  • 2009: Rise up
  • 2010: Spiral (Palmetto Records)
  • 2012: The Healer (Pilgrimage)
  • 2016: Evolution (Blue Note)
  • 2018: All In My Mind (Blue Note)

With George Benson

  • 1966: It's Uptown (Columbia)
  • 1966: The George Benson Cookbook (Columbia, 1967)

With Lou Donaldson

  • 1967: Alligator Boogaloo (Blue Note BLP 4263) with Melvin Lastie , George Benson and Leo Morris
  • 1967: Mr. Shing-A-Ling (Blue Note BLP 4271) with Blue Mitchell , Jimmy "Fats" Ponder and Leo Morris
  • 1968: Midnight Creeper (Blue Note BST 84280) with Blue Mitchell, George Benson and Idris Muhammad
  • 1969: Everything I Play Is Funky (Blue Note BST 84337)
  • 1990: Lou Donaldson Plays The Right Thing (Milestone M 9190)
  • 1993: Caracas (Milestone)
  • 1994: Sentimental Journey (Columbia, 1995)
  • 1999: Relaxing at Sea: Live on the QE2 (2000)

Web links

Audio samples

Individual notes

  1. Thomas Fawcett: Dr. Lonnie Smith's B-3 Love Affair In: The Austin Chronicle on September 29, 2017.
  2. Thomas Fawcett: Dr. Lonnie Smith's B-3 Love Affair In: The Austin Chronicle on September 29, 2017.