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The Organ Doctor

Over 75 years, Dr. Lonnie Smith has given his Hammond a groove like no one else!

By Abigail Church | Video of the Day | January 11, 2018
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With 2016's Evolution, Dr. Lonnie Smith made a flamboyant comeback. The last time the doctor's name graced a Blue Note album was 45 years ago… It was on this famous label, as a sideman to Lou Donaldson (Alligator Bogaloo, Mr. Shing-A-Ling, Midnight Creeper), and then as a band leader (Think !, Turning Point, Move Your Hand, Drives and Live At Club Mozambique) that this master of the Hammond B-3 made a name for himself in the late 1960s, proving that Jimmy Smith wasn't the only one who knew how to tame an electric keyboard...

Brilliant and groovy as ever despite the years that have passed, Doc has brought us "All In My Mind" a live album recorded at New York's Jazz Standard at a concert to mark the 75th anniversary. Smith himself describes the live version as essential: "It is so hard to get across what you're feeling in the moment when you're recording in the studio. Listening to me in concert means surprising me when I'm playing in the moment. I like that idea." With guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake, the trio form a close-knit fraternity. "My musicians know what I'm trying to do, and they develop my thoughts. When I play, I am always in the moment. They know how to adapt and be there for me." From the famous Juju by Wayne Shorter to Paul Simon's 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (with Joe Dyson as a second drummer), the organist revisits an exceptionally eclectic repertoire while still retaining his own style. Time has hardly left a mark on Dr. Lonnie Smith's groove or his sense of swing; he is throwing off some real sparks here throughout this bubbling, visceral record.



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