DR. LONNIE SMITH, RISE UP!

Organist Lonnie Smith got his start in George Benson’s quartet in the mid 60s and was signed to Blue Note after appearing on saxophonist Lou Donaldson’s famous “Alligator Boogaloo” record. The emphatic “Rise Up!” is Smith’s 3rd album for the Palmetto label and his loose, swinging sound finds an easy jam-band rapport with guitarist Peter Bernstein, alto player Donald Harrison and drummer Herlin Riley. It delivers what you’d expect from a soul jazz acolyte - music that’s replete with ecstatic organ squeals, a shuddering vocal choir, handclaps and cracking percussion. Smith slips easily into a deep groove covering music by The Beatles (“Come Together”), Eurythmics (“Sweet Dreams”) and The Stylistics (“People Make The World Go Round”) But it’s on his originals like the colorful “Dapper Dan,” Creole-flavored “A Matterapat,” and the other-worldly “Voodoo Doll” where Smith tears it up like he’s the life of the party. (9 tracks/62:14 minutes) 
This review appeared previously in the March 2009 edition of ICON
     


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JAZZ IN SPACE: DR. LONNIE SMITH, RISE UP!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

DR. LONNIE SMITH, RISE UP!

Organist Lonnie Smith got his start in George Benson’s quartet in the mid 60s and was signed to Blue Note after appearing on saxophonist Lou Donaldson’s famous “Alligator Boogaloo” record. The emphatic “Rise Up!” is Smith’s 3rd album for the Palmetto label and his loose, swinging sound finds an easy jam-band rapport with guitarist Peter Bernstein, alto player Donald Harrison and drummer Herlin Riley. It delivers what you’d expect from a soul jazz acolyte - music that’s replete with ecstatic organ squeals, a shuddering vocal choir, handclaps and cracking percussion. Smith slips easily into a deep groove covering music by The Beatles (“Come Together”), Eurythmics (“Sweet Dreams”) and The Stylistics (“People Make The World Go Round”) But it’s on his originals like the colorful “Dapper Dan,” Creole-flavored “A Matterapat,” and the other-worldly “Voodoo Doll” where Smith tears it up like he’s the life of the party. (9 tracks/62:14 minutes) 
This review appeared previously in the March 2009 edition of ICON
     


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