Saratoga Performing Arts Center Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival Saratoga Springs, NY June 28-29, 2014 Perfect weather accented this years Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival, an event that had an eclectic mix of young musicians with interesting ideas and approaches, and veterans who deliver consistently. The weather is always a factor because it's primarily an outdoor festival for two days, on two stages, at the beautiful Saratoga Performing Arts Center. (There is some covered amphitheater ...read more
B-3 specialist Dr. Lonnie Smith retools a dozen original compositions from early in his career and performs them live with an octet on In The Beginning, Volumes 1 & 2. Drawing material from his recordings, Finger-Lickin' Good (Columbia, 1966), Think! (Blue Note, 1968), Turning Point (Blue Note, 1969) and Move Your Hand (Blue Note, 1969), Smith, with the help of saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith, cast this music against the rich palette of a horn-heavy little-big band. On these ...read more
Dr. Lonnie Smith-organist, composer, bandleader and now principal of Pilgrimage Records-is the Cheshire cat of jazz. He's been part of the scene for so long that, even though he's there, he sometimes disappears from view; when you do get a glimpse, the last thing you see and the first thing you remember is his warm and wise Buddha smile. Dr. Lonnie Smith smiles like he knows that he knows something that most people don't even know that they don't know.read more
Dr. Lonnie Smith has always addressed organ traditions on his own terms. He seems to intentionally avoid clichĂ©s and marketplace trends, preferring instead to chart his own course, so it's beautifully ironic that he's become something of a trendy figure-to-follow for the jazz-meets-jam crowd. While Smith recently attained septuagenarian status, he shows no signs of developing a conservative crust or going musically gentle into that good night. The Healer, culled from material recorded at the 2011 Lamantin Jazz Festival in ...read more
Vitality and age might be normally be at odds with one another, but not when discussing Dr. Lonnie Smith--the inimitable organ shaman of the modern soul-jazz epoch. Whether turning in clever takes on the music of indie rocker Beck, recasting familiar standards in his organic organ mold or shaping his own compositions to his liking, Smith never seems to be short on ideas. He furthers the traditional role of the organ in small-group jazz and puts a modern slant on ...read more
For a half-century the incomparable Dr. Lonnie Smith has been a prime mover on the organ, an instrument he has called, paradoxically, the monster" and the love of my life." Rise Up! is a gumbo of originals and covers spiced with generous helpings of rhythm and blues, rock and gospel. Smith's A Matterapat" showcases Donald Harrison's sharp alto sax and Peter Bernstein's feathery guitar riffs, with Smith's organ going straight to the gut. Tyrone" is a New ...read more
When the Hammond B-3 organ enjoyed a revival several years ago, few came out the better for it. The old guys either repeated or tried to recapture what they'd done before and too few of the new guys had anything new to say. But then there was Lonnie Smith.
This veteran of '60s organ combos, the genre's golden age, quietly returned to the scene in the early '90s, sporting a turban and a new prefix to his name. ...read more
Rise Up! is Dr. Lonnie Smith's third release for Palmetto Records and a welcome addition to the organist's rich recorded legacy. Since bursting onto the scene as a member of George Benson's quartet in the 1960s, the Buffalo native has been an unrelenting force on the Hammond B3. Joined here by alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Herlin Riley, Smith offers up a listener-friendly set of originals and pop covers.
Smith is known for dispensing heavy doses ...read more