Dr LONNIE SMITH TRIO Lonnie Smith (Org), Jamire Williams (Drums), Jonathan Kreisberg (Guitar) Mon 20th & Tues 21st June 2011
aaamusic | On 07, Jun 2011
Dr. Lonnie Smith is a Master of the Hammond B3 organ, his name truly synonymous with the instrument. For over fifty years he has furthered its sound, created a worldwide fan-base, and revealed his musical talents on over seventy albums.
During the past ten years the resurgence of interest in the Hammond B3 has seen his music sampled in rap, dance and house grooves and Smith being credited as a forefather of Acid Jazz. Revered throughout the world and popular among many disparate groups, his unique stylings and prolific output have elevated him to the status of living musical icon.
Jazz Times magazine recently described him as “a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban!” A description that suggests the level of complexity that he exhibits in his music and the pure amazement that it elicits.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Lonnie, though his mother, was exposed to gospel, blues and jazz at an early age. In his teens, he sung in several vocal groups and played the trumpet at school. He soon came to acquire an organ, immersing himself in study with no instruction other than Jimmy Smith and Bill Doggett records, and within months his proficiency attracted the attention of local musicians. Then, in the late 1950s he discovered the Hammond B-3 organ and so began his ascent into jazz history.
Smith moved to NYC where he came to the attention of musicians Jack McDuff, Lou Donaldson, and George Benson, where he earned the reputation of self-schooled innovator. After recording the seminal jazz gem “Alligator Boogaloo,” with Lou Donaldson, Smith was signed to Blue Note Records. He went on to record and perform with some of the greatest names of our time including, Randy Brecker, John Abercrombie, Reuben Wilson, Lee Morgan, David ‘Fat Head’ Newman, Jimmy McGriff, Ron Carter, Grover Washington, Jr., and Dizzy Gillespie. A prolific creative force and innovator, his musical evolution has included recording everything from tribute albums to Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane to straight-ahead jazz, funk and acid-jazz recordings.
Lonnie’s irrepressible energy infuses his music and audience with the joy that he has always found in creating and performing. “The organ is like sunlight, rain and thunder—it’s all the worldly sounds to me!”