All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

270

Dr. Lonnie Smith: Rise Up!

By

Sign in to view read count
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 Orleans strut that Smith and Harrison play in deep blue shades. The dark, simmering brew of "Voodoo Doll" finds Smith pulsating at the low end of the monster while James Shipp's percussion and Matt Balitsaris' sweet guitar highlight a comparatively straight reading of the Stylistics' "People Make the World Go Round." Herlin Riley's solemn drum rolls introduce "And the World Weeps," a march both funereal and military, enhanced by Jo Lawry's melancholy vocalizing. Smith was raised on gospel, and the perfect tone and pitch of his Sunday morning organ drives the ascendant "Pilgrimage." Smith uses a tangential approach to classic rock songs to translate them into his unique idiom, funking up the rhythm and tempo of "Come Together" and intoning the idea of the lyrics with gravelly vocals. His take on the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" turns its theme of the search for sexual fulfillment into an ironic dirge, a reluctant march to the bedroom.

Smith has spoken frequently about how difficult it is to play the Hammond B-3; watching him during a record release party last month at New York's The Jazz Standard, however, belied any suspicion of hardship. Smith opened the set with an ominous sci-fi overture that elicited a mock frightened expression from the scholarly-looking Riley. A few minutes later, though, he and Smith had a wonderfully intense mano a mano, during which they pushed each other to the limit. Bernstein played a fluid, octave-rich guitar on "Tyrone," and the pleasant surprise of "Sweet and Lovely" featured an incendiary solo by Smith. The version of "Pilgrimage" transported the downtown crowd uptown for Friday night church services.

Track Listing: A Matterapat; Come Together; Pilgrimage; Dapper Dan; And The World Weeps; People Make The World Go Round; Tyrone; Sweet Dreams; Voodoo Doll.

Personnel: Dr. Lonnie Smith: Hammond organ, vocals; Peter Bernstein: guitar; Donald Harrison: alto saxophone; Herlin Riley: drums; Jo Lawry: vocals (5); James Shipp: percussion (2, 3, 4, 6, 9); Matt Balitsaris: guitar (1, 2, 6, 8).

Title: Rise Up! | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Palmetto Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

In Pictures
Best of / Year End
My Blue Note Obsession
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Evolution

Evolution

Blue Note Records
2016

buy
Dr. Lonnie Smith Octet - In The Beginning, Volumes 1 & 2

Dr. Lonnie Smith...

Pilgrimage Productions
2013

buy
The Healer

The Healer

Pilgrimage Productions
2012

buy
Spiral

Spiral

Palmetto Records
2010

buy
Rise Up!

Rise Up!

Palmetto Records
2009

buy
 

Rise Up

Palmetto Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Humanities CD/LP/Track Review
Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Wild Is The Wind CD/LP/Track Review
Wild Is The Wind
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review
Fairytales
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 1
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen)" CD/LP/Track Review Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen)
by Barry Witherden
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Trail Magic" CD/LP/Track Review Trail Magic
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Ephimeral" CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "The Return" CD/LP/Track Review The Return
by Chris May
Published: April 16, 2018