Lonnie Liston Smith: Explorations: The Columbia Recordings (2002)
"Explorations" contains an interesting brass chorale introduction that resembles what Blood, Sweat and Tears had done before. Dave Hubbard's sweet soprano saxophone and Ronald Miller's blazing guitar pump adrenalin into the number, making it quite apart from most of what Smith had been doing. It's a high point that none of Smith's other selections come close to approaching. Organist Dr. Lonnie Smith joins the pianist for "On the Real Side," as the two challenge each other in a warm-up match. Doc Powell converses with Smith on "Free and Easy" with an amiable, smooth jazz spirit. Otherwise, the compilation, while keeping the fires lit for two and a half hours, provides ample reminders of Lonnie Listen Smith's knack for creating jazz that remains both rhythmically funky and lyrically smooth.
Track Listing: Space Princess; Quiet Moments; Magical Journey; Exotic Mysteries; Singing For Love; Mystical Dreamer; Twilight; Night Flower; Sunburst; Journey into Love; Floating Through Space; Bright Moments; We Can Dream; Springtime Magic; Loveland; Explorations; In the Park; Love is the Answer; Speak About It; Bridge Through Time; On the Real Side; Enchantress; Give Peace a Chance (Make Love, Not War); Free and Easy; A Song for the Children; Lover's Dream; Aquarian Cycle; Street Festival; Midsummer Magic; Nightlife; A Gift of Love.
Personnel: Lonnie Listen Smith- piano, electric piano, clavinet, guitar, vocals; Dr. Lonnie Smith- organ; Marcus Miller, Al Anderson, Peter Brown, Pee Wee Ford- bass; Lion Reyes, George Johnson- drums; Aural Ray, Butch Campbell, Kevin J. Perry, Doc Powell, Abdul Wail, Ronald D. Miller- guitars; Donald Smith- flute, vocals; David Hubbard- flute, alto flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Steve Thornton- congas, percussion; Lawrence Killian- bongos, congas, percussion; As ante- percussion; Albert Jones, Louis Barbarian, Koran Daniels, Jon Lewis, Kevin Jasper- horns; James Robinson- vocals, guitar; Marcella Allen, Cassie Hawkins, Butch Johnson, Gloria Jones, Keith Rose, Yvonne Lewis, Luanda McCullough, Janet Wright- vocals.
Record Label: Columbia Records