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Veteran organist Lonnie Smith pays homage to John Coltrane on this new release, supported once again by guitarist John Abercrombie and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith. The title cut is a mid-tempo burner that relies heavily on the original Trane interpretation of Mongo Santamaria's classic composition. Nothing new or innovative here but honorable mention goes to the great John Abercrombie. His soloing is reminiscent of the early 70's gem "Timeless."
Abercrombie's angular and unusual phrasing serves as a perfect match for Smith's melodic comping and enticing Hammond B3 overtones. Marvin "Smitty" Smith as usual is the perfect accompaniast and provides the neccessary dynamics to heighten the intensity. "Impressions" is lively and spirited. "Naima" serves as a brief interlude. "Traces of Trane" is a Smith original and "Lonnie's Lament" burns with passion and conviction. "Bessies Blues" is a tasty arrangement and ends the set with a bang. Basically, a well executed and delightful recording. It won't set the world on fire but what we have here is good working-class, no-frills jazz!
Afro Blue, Impressions, Naima, Traces of Love, Lonnie's Lament, Bessie's Blues
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.