Dec 15, 2010
Dr. Lonnie Smith is an authentic master of the Hammond B3 organ and a leader in the genre of organ jazz for over five decades. For the week of December 28 through January 2, The Jazz Standard in New York will ring in the New Year right - Dr. Lonnie performing on their stage with three entirely different but equally exciting groups.
The good doctor’s regular working group, a tightly knit trio with almost extrasensory powers of communication, will play on December 28 and 29. Smith, Jonathan Kreisberg (guitar), and Jamire Williams (drums) came together with scintillating results on their recent release Spiral.
From December 30 through New Year’s Day, it’s a Big Band that takes the stage, starring the trio members augmented by eleven other musicians. The three man trumpet section is led by Keyon Harrold, and saxophones are led by Kyle Wilson and Jon Ellis. Musical director is trombonist Corey King. This is the US premier of the Big Band and should be memorable.
To round things out, a unique world music performance will take place on January 2. Entitled Dr. Lonnie Smiths “Yuga Adi” Trio, the organ player will be joined by Neel Murgai (sitar, frame drum) and Sameer Gupta (drums, tabla). “Yuga adi“(“beginning of a new age”) is a traditional Hindi expression referring to the New Year, and it’s a fitting name for this unique Indian–influenced trio.
Podcast 197 features a conversation with Dr. Lonnie on his big week of performances, as well as his opinions on the state of Hammond B-3 today and how he interprets songs from standards to Jimi Hendrix. Click here to listen to the talk, plus musical selections including:
Lonnie Smith – title track from Spiral. The trio for this most recent release was Smith on organ, Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar, and Jamire Williams on drums. Here they tackle a John Coltrane tune from 1959, rearranging the great sax player’s work for their instrumental lineup.
Lonnie Smith – title track from Afro-Desia. This funky 1975 recording shows everything that is exciting about the Hammond B-3, especially when backed up by a band that includes Greg Hopkins (trumpet); Joe Lovano (tenor sax); Lonnie Smith (keyboards) George Benson (guitar); Ralphe Armstrong (bass; Ben Riley (drums); and Jamey Huddad (percussion).
Lonnie Smith – “Foxey Lady” from Foxy Lady: A Tribute to Hendrix. John Abercrombie has the task of playing guitar on a Jimi Hendrix tribute, but he is more than up to the task in these arrangements. Dr. Lonnie is on organ, and Marvin “Smitty” Smith is on drums on this 1994 release.
Lonnie Smith – “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” from Spiral. Never afraid to take a standard and turn it into something he can call his own, Dr. Lonnie, Kreisberg and Williams play here with subtlety and soul.