All In My Mind Dr. Lonnie Smith
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- 1JuJu 08:18
- 2Devika 06:56
- 350 Ways To Leave Your Lover 09:28
- 4On A Misty Night 07:45
- 5Alhambra 09:51
- 6All In My Mind 08:21
- 7Up Jumped Spring 05:58
Info for All In My Mind
Hammond B-3 organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith has announced a January 12 release for All in My Mind, a spirited live trio album that the NEA Jazz Master recorded during his 75th birthday celebration at the Jazz Standard in New York City this past summer. The album is the follow-up to his acclaimed 2016 release Evolution, which marked Smith’s return to Blue Note Records where he first made a name for himself with a run of classic soul jazz albums between 1968-70.
At 75 years old Smith still reigns as a master of innovation and experimentation. He may have been away from Blue Note for 46 years, but he perfectly fits in with the current mission of label president Don Was to present the future movements of jazz as well as honoring those who forged the tradition. “Dr. Lonnie Smith returns to the Blue Note label with an album that reveals the enduring appeal of organ soul,” raved The Wall Street Journal in a 2016 review of Evolution, adding that the album “showcases a variety of organ-soul stylings [and] demonstrates the versatility and currency of the style.”
A connoisseur of groove and a consummate showman, Smith wanted to record All in My Mind in a live setting because, as he says, “It’s so hard to capture what I’m feeling at the moment in the studio. Hearing me live is catching me playing in the moment. It’s a good vibe. It’s a loving situation.”
“My group is a brotherhood, a dedicated family,” Smith says of his trio with guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake. “They are the heartbeat of the music. They know what I’m trying to do, and they enhance what I play. I play in the moment all the time, and they adjust and are there for me.”
All in My Mind opens with a powerful rendering of Wayne Shorter’s “JuJu” from the saxophonist’s 1965 Blue Note album of the same name. Smith also takes Paul Simon’s hit “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” for a 10-minute joyride with drummer Joe Dyson taking a turn behind the kit, and reworks his own vintage composition “All in My Mind” which features the amazing vocal range and spirit of Alicia Olatuja.
Smith reflects, “You play life, you tell your story. I know who I am, and that means so much.” As for his return to Blue Note, he singles out Don Was who produced Evolution and All in My Mind. “I’ve worked with producers who don’t understand the musicians they’re working with. But Don wants me to be myself, he understands and respects creativity. It’s a reminder of the old days when Frank Wolff used to be the same.”
Dr. Lonnie Smith, organ
Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar
Johnathan Blake, drums
Dr. Lonnie Smith
is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer and recording artist. An authentic master and guru of the Hammond B-3 organ for over five decades, he has been featured on over seventy albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Consequently, he has often been hailed as a “Legend,” a “Living Musical Icon,” and as the most creative jazz organist by a slew of music publications. Jazz Times magazine describes him as “a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban!” Always ahead of the curve, it is no surprise Dr. Smith’s fan-base is truly worldwide.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Lonnie was blessed with the gift of music. Through his mother, he was immersed in gospel, blues and jazz at an early age. In his teens, he sang in several vocal groups including his own–the Supremes–formed long before Motown’s eventual iconic act of the same name. Lonnie also played trumpet and other instruments at school and was a featured soloist. In the late ‘50s– with the encouragement of Art Kubera, who owned a local music store that he would visit daily–young Lonnie was given the opportunity to learn how to play a Hammond organ. By completely immersing himself in the records of organists such as Wild Bill Davis, Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith, as well as paying rapt attention to the church organ, a young Lonnie began to find his musical voice. “Even though I didn’t know how, I was able to play right from the beginning,” Dr. Smith reflects. “I learned how to work the stops and that was it. It’s a passion for me, so everything else came naturally.” Because of Mr. Kubera’s kindness, Dr. Lonnie often refers to Art as his “angel.”
The Doctor’s first gigs were at Buffalo’s hottest jazz club, the Pine Grill, where he rapidly garnered the attention of folks like Jack McDuff, Lou Donaldson, George Benson and the booking agent Jimmy Boyd. George Benson was looking for an organist for his quartet and enlisted Lonnie. The group soon relocated to New York City, where they quickly established a reputation as innovators in Harlem clubs and throughout the area. After appearing on several Benson albums, Lonnie went on to make his first recording as a leader—Finger Lickin’ Good–for Columbia Records in 1966. Shortly thereafter, Smith was scooped up to record by saxophonist Lou Donaldson, for whom Lonnie would appear on several epic Blue Note LPs, including the million-seller, Alligator Boogaloo. Blue Note clearly liked what they heard and inked the organist to his own recording contract, a deal which would produce the soul jazz classics Think!, Turning Point, Move Your Hand, Drives and Live at Club Mozambique (released many years later).
Since leaving the Blue Note stable in the ‘70s, Dr. Smith has recorded for a slew of record labels, including Kudu, Groove Merchant, T.K., Scufflin’, Criss Cross and Palmetto, ascending the charts many times. His unpredictable, insatiable musical taste illustrates that no genre is safe, as Lonnie has recorded everything from covers of the Beatles, the Stylistics and the Eurythmics, to tribute albums of Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane and Beck–all by employing ensembles ranging from a trio to a fifteen-piece big band. Moreover, many of Doc’s recent compositions reflect dramatic ethereal qualities and orchestration that elicit movie scores or soundtracks.
Dr. Smith has been amused to find himself sampled in rap, dance and house grooves while being credited as a forefather of acid jazz. When questioned about his consistent interest in music some consider outside the jazz “mainstream,” Lonnie shrugs. “Jazz is American Classical,” he proclaims. “And this music is a reflection of what’s happening at the time… The organ is like the sunlight, rain and thunder…it’s all the worldly sounds to me!”
Many awards have followed since 1969, when Downbeat magazine named Dr. Lonnie Smith “Top Organist” of the year. 2003-2014 he was awarded “Organist/Keyboardist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalist Association. The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and Jazz Organ Fellowship have also inducted Dr. Lonnie and in 2015 he will receive the Village Music Legends Award. In 2012, Dr. Smith launched his own record label Pilgrimage Inc., and in 2015, resigned with the iconic Blue Note Records label. Dr. Lonnie Smith’s next CD will be released on Blue Note in early 2016.
This album contains no booklet.