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Dr. Lonnie Smith Octet — In the Beginning Volumes 1 & 2 (2013)

 Dr. Lonnie Smith Octet — In the Beginning Volumes 1 & 2

Dr. Lonnie Smith Octet — In the Beginning Volumes 1 & 2

The official logo by B.T. Amundssen´s Harvest Prize/Tais Awards 2014
♦    “I deeply appreciate your unwavering love and support!” — Dr. Lonnie Smith  /  “a little smooth and dark, and a little edgy with a little noise in there — but not too much — Co-producer Hendrickson-Smith
Born: July 3, 1942, Buffalo, New York City, United States of America
Location: Lackawanna, New York, U.S.
Album release: October 15, 2013
Record Label: Pilgrimage Productions
Duration:     54:40+54:16=> 108:56
Disc: 1
1. Falling In Love     7:43
2. Aw Shucks     6:32
3. Move Your Hand     6:22
4. Turning Point     13:41
5. In The Beginning     5:35
6. Moma Wailer / Hola Muneca Medley     14:47
Disc: 2
1. Keep Talkin'     7:59
2. Psychedelic Pi     9:43
3. Slow High     6:32
4. Call of the Wild     12:41
5. Slouchin'     8:02
6. Track Nine     9:19
þ    Dr. Lonnie Smith: Hammond B-3 organ, vocals
þ    Ed Cherry: guitar
þ    Jonathan Blake: drums
þ    Little Johnny Rivero: congas
þ    Andy Gravish: trumpet
þ    Ian Hendrickson-Smith: alto saxophone, flute
þ    John Ellis: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
þ    Jason Marshall: baritone saxophone
By C. MICHAEL BAILEY, Published: November 10, 2013
þ    B-3 specialist Dr. Lonnie Smith retools a dozen original compositions from early in his career and performs them live with an octet on In The Beginning, Volumes 1 & 2. þ    Drawing material from his recordings, Finger-Lickin' Good (Columbia, 1966), Think! (Blue Note, 1968), Turning Point (Blue Note, 1969) and Move Your Hand (Blue Note, 1969), Smith, with the help of saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith, cast this music against the rich palette of a horn-heavy little-big band.
þ    On these recordings, what Smith proves is that he is the master of his corner of the organ jazz universe. He is not Jimmy Smith or Big Big John Patton. While Smith's music is informed by the blues, it is ultimately a broader taste test of genre when compared with those and other organists. Smith mixes rhythms like a mad, but gifted, alchemist, crossing Latin and African rhythms with the Far East and Western Europe. þ    While "Falling In Love" is a pastoral rave-up featuring Ed Cherry's James-Brown- funk-laden guitar and "Turning Point" smacks of Stan Kenton on a bender, "In The Beginning" takes on an almost classical flair.
þ    While this music is dated, its updating is timeless. These tunes are a snapshot of a progressive period in jazz where the old gave way to the new. Smith made these transitions thoughtfully, acting as much as the keeper of the flame and a future firebrand, with his creative eyes in both directions. The octet for this occasion fully fleshes out the music giving it a defined, three-dimensions. (http://www.allaboutjazz.com/)
Personal life:
þ    In the mid-1970s, Smith became known as "Dr. Lonnie Smith" although the honorific does not represent an academic doctorate degree. His beard and turban do not reflect a conversion to Sikhism, they are strictly for stylistic reasons.
Website: http://drlonniesmith.com/
By Lloyd Sachs
þ    Dr. Lonnie Smith’s new two-disc album is not only his most invigorating effort in years, it’s also one of the most exciting Hammond B-3 albums in some time. Credit the octet format on several tracks for adding heaps of energy and pizzazz. And credit arranger Ian Hendrickson-Smith for skillfully polishing the various facets of Smith’s style on this collection of originals, which reaches back to the ’60s via the soulful fuss of “Keep Talkin’,” the blues testifying of “Aw Shucks,” the slinky sensuality of “Slow High” and the funky soul of “Move Your Hand,” featuring a vocal from the good Dr.
Ultimately, though, it’s the exceptional trio at the core of this live recording that matters most. Smith’s command of the organ is remarkable — dig his mesmerizing, multiphonic-like running of separate but equal lines. Onetime Dizzy Gillespie guitarist Ed Cherry’s melodic snap and drummer Johnathan Blake’s adrenalized-in-the-groove strokes — especially on the psychedelic swinger “Turning Point” — enliven the classic sound. The trio (sometimes joined by conga player Little Johnny Rivero) doesn’t need the horns (saxophonists Hendrickson-Smith and John Ellis and trumpeter Andy Gravish) to produce powerhouse moments.
þ    Such are the roaring capabilities of the Hammond that surrounding it with an expanded cast of players can be an exercise in excess. There’s a reason Jimmy Smith, Dr. Lonnie’s great role model, didn’t often return to big-band settings following his early ’60s collaborations with Oliver Nelson and Lalo Schifrin. But Dr. Lonnie and Hendrickson-Smith are less interested in ramping up the sound than in adding harmonic color and depth. As demonstrated on the recent composition “Falling in Love,” they do that exceptionally well. (http://jazztimes.com/)
þ    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.
þ    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.”
þ    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. þ    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).
þ    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.
þ    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!”
þ    And worldly awards have followed. Since 1969, when Downbeat magazine named him “Top Organist” of that year, Dr. Lonnie Smith has won a plethora of critics’ polls as the world’s premier organist/keyboardist. Moreover, he was recently inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, as well as the Jazz Organ Fellowship’s Hall of Fame. In 2012, Dr, Smith launched his own record label Pilgrimage Productions. The Healer, a live recording of Doc’s trio is the first release on his label.
1966: Finger-lickin' good (Columbia)
1968: Think! (Blue Note)
1969: Turning Point (Blue Note)
1969: Move Your Hand (Live) (Blue Note)
1970: Drives (Blue Note)
1970: Live at Club Mozambique (Live) (Released in 1995) (Blue Note)
1971: Mama Wailer (Kudu)
1975: When the Night is Right! (Chiaroscuro)
1975: Afrodesia (Groove Merchant)
1976: Keep on Lovin' (Groove Merchant)
1977: Funk Reaction (LRC — Lester Radio Corporation)
1978: Gotcha (LRC — Lester Radio Corporation)
1993: Afro Blue (Music Masters)
1994: Foxy Lady: a Tribute to Hendrix (Music Masters)
1995: Purple Haze: a tribute to Jimi Hendrix (Music Masters)
2000: The Turbanator (32 Jazz)
2003: Boogaloo to Beck: A Tribute (Scufflin')
2004: Too Damn Hot (Palmetto)
2006: Jungle Soul (Palmetto)
2009: Rise Up! (Palmetto)
2010: Spiral (Palmetto)
2012: The Healer (Pilgrimage)
2013: In the Beginning Volumes 1 & 2 (Pilgrimage)
By Matt Gallagher, Oct 1, 2013 9:00 AM
From left: John Ellis, Jason Marshall, Ed Cherry, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Kwame Bell, Ian Hendrickson-Smith, Jonathan Blake, Andy Gravish
þ    Hammond B3 organ master Dr. Lonnie Smith teamed up with alto saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith (a former member of the Dap-Kings) to re-imagine some of Dr. Smith’s earliest recorded songs for In the Beginning, Volumes 1 & 2, which was released on October 15 on Dr. Smith’s Pilgrimage Productions label. Following five decades with appearances on more than 70 albums, Dr. Smith revisited 12 original songs from his first 10 years as a recording artist.
þ    “People keep asking me about these tunes,” Dr. Smith says, “why I don’t play them and how come they can’t find them. Basically I think it was time for that. This album was a long time coming.”
þ    Co-producer Hendrickson-Smith assembled a band of New York City musicians — Ed Cherry (guitar), Jonathan Blake (drums), Little Johnny Rivero (congas), Andy Gravish (trumpet), John Ellis (tenor and bass clarinet), and Jason Marshall (baritone sax) — and convened three recording dates at Forrest Sound & Vision (FS&V), which was located in a converted Ford Model T factory in Long Island City, Queens; since this album was completed, FS&V has moved into a different space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The studio and event space in Queens had a 25x75-foot main room, two isolation booths, and high ceilings with skylights. FS&V makes its collection of instruments and amplifiers available for recording sessions.
þ    Audiences attended each session. “We set it up like a nightclub,” Hendrickson-Smith says. “Lonnie loved it. The way he plays in front of a crowd brings out a certain charisma and fire. We felt that was the best way to capture his music.”
þ    Engineer and FS&V owner Glen Forrest recorded the octet through a TL Audio M4 tube console to 1-inch tape on a 16-track Tascam MS-16 using numerous ribbon mics and outboard that included Neve, Altec, Telefunken, Universal Audio and TubeTech.
þ    “We had 16 channels to record an 8-piece band,” Hendrickson-Smith says. þ    “We essentially set up like you would play a live show — Doc straight in the center, and then the rhythm section around his left-hand side. Then we just splayed the horns across the other side of the stage, so the band was circling Lonnie. And every guy had his own channel.
þ    “I would say 90 percent of the mics on that recording are ribbons,” he continues. “On the drums, believe it or not, we had one overhead, one mic kind of near the snare and the hi-hat, and then one mic on the kick. But the mix of the drum sound is like 90 percent that one mic, just the overhead, a beyer 160. It’s an amazing drum mic. Then one mic for the congas, one mic for the guitar, an RCA BK5 — it’s a [ribbon] mic made shortly after the RCA 77, very directional, lots of rejection. And then on Lonnie we had a direct for the bass and a mic on the bass, then two mics on the cabinet. And then one mic in the room; I believe it was an AKG 414 in omni. And then a vocal mic. But really that’s it, essentially a channel for each guy.
þ    Hendrickson-Smith nicknamed this collection of rackmount units 'Glen's Wall Of Hope.' Engineer/studio owner Glen Forrest's extensive collection of outboard gear includes Neve 1272, Telefunken V72, Universal Audio LA-610, and Studio Projects VTB mic pre's, as well as Manley Vari Mu limiter/compressor, Universal Audio/Teletronix LA-2A leveling amplifier, and more. To see a complete equipment list, visit Forrest Sound & Vision.
Photo courtesy of Ian Hendrickson-Smith
þ    “It bears mentioning, too, all the reverb on this record — like for the organ — is going through an EMT 140, which is a big plate reverb. The drums are going through a BK 20, a really old spring reverb. And all the horns are going through a Demeter RV1. That’s a pretty new spring reverb," Hendrickson-Smith adds. "And [there were] no computers!” [Laughs]
þ    Engineer Forrest compressed very minimally and let the tape do all the work. Hendrickson-Smith took the tracks back to his studio in New Jersey and mixed in Pro Tools, making extensive use of Universal Audio plug-ins.
þ    “Because everything was already analog to begin with and we already had the reverbs printed in separate tracks, it was pretty easy to make it sound good,” Hendrickson-Smith says. “I’m a hard panner; I tend to mix records that sound the way that my favorite records sound like. So I put the drums all the way on one side, and I put the guitar all the way on the other side, with Doc right in the center and then just peppered the horns and the percussion. I’m always trying to create a picture with the mix so it looks like the bandstand looked, making sure that whoever’s trying to be the focal point is actually the focal point. We made sure while recording that leakage wasn’t an issue between guitar and drums, so I could spread them. I listened to some old Lonnie records, I listened to some new records, and just went to work.”
þ    Dr. Smith characterizes his sound as “a little smooth and dark, and a little edgy with a little noise in there — but not too much," he says. "The organ is perfect, but it’s not perfect. In other words, the Leslie and the organ have hums and things, and that’s a natural effect for the instrument itself, and you want the organ to breathe that, say that, speak that. If you try to take that out, then you’re taking everything out of the sound. As long as I hear that they’re capturing whatever the instrument is doing at that time — that’s what I want.”    Fortaken: http://mixonline.com/
SPIRAL (Palmetto/2010)
THE ART OF ORGANIZING (Criss Cross Jazz/issued 2009)
RISE UP! (Palmetto/2009)
JUNGLE SOUL (Palmetto/2006)
TOO DAMN HOT! (Palmetto/2004)
BOOGALOO TO BECK (Scufflin’/2002)
PURPLE HAZE (Venus/MusicMasters – 1994)
FOXY LADY (Venus/MusicMasters – 1994)
AFRO BLUE (Venus/MusicMasters – 1993)
THE TURBANATOR (32 Jazz/1991)
LENOX AND SEVENTH with Alvin Queen (Black & Blue/1985)
KEEP ON LOVIN’ (Groove Merchant/1976)
AFRO-DESIA (Groove Merchant/1975)
MAMA WAILER (Kudu/1971)
DRIVES (Blue Note/1970)
MOVE YOUR HAND (Blue Note/1969)
TURNING POINT (Blue Note/1969)
THINK! (Blue Note/1968)
AFRO-DESIA/KEEP ON LOVIN’ (Connoisseur/2000)
FLAVORS (1980/1998)
WHEN THE NIGHT IS RIGHT (Chiaroscuro/1980)
LONNIE SMITH (America/1979)
FRIENDS AND FAMILY — Ray Brown, Jr. (SRI Jazz/2008)
SWEET MISSY — Gloria Coleman featuring George Coleman (Doodlin’/2007)
LITTLE TINY — Sari Yano (Savoy/2007)
NOW — Javon Jackson (Palmetto/2006)
SO WAR’S — VOLL DANEBEN — Olaf Kübler (ACT/2005)
GREASY STREET — Richie Hart (Zoho/2005)
STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE — Cyrus Pace (Bright Soul/2005)
HAVE YOU HEARD — Javon Jackson (Palmetto/2005)
NEW YORK TIME — Frode Kjekstad (Curling Legs/2004)
THE DOCTOR IS IN — Crash (Cellar Live/2003)
COAST TO COAST — Red Holloway (Milestone/2003)
HAMMOND RENS — Kresten Osgood (ILK Music/2002)
EASY DOES IT — Javon Jackson (Palmetto/2002)
THE BRIDGE — Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (Relaxed/2002)
(Nuevos Medios/2001)
SOUL MANIFESTO — Rodney Jones (Blue Note/2001)
THE SPIRIT SPEAKS — Ed Cherry (Justin Time/2000)
MODERN MAN — Bobby Broom (Delmark/2000)
RELAXING AT SEA: LIVE ON THE QE2 — The Lou Donaldson Quartet — (Chiariscuro/1999)
McGRIFF’S HOUSE PARTY — Jimmy McGriff (Milestone/1999)
HOMEPAGE — Ximo Tébar (WEA/1998)
AFTER HOURS — Eric Allison (Contemporary/1997)
SO WHAT! — THE JAZZ GUITAR TRIO VOL. 2 — Ximo Tébar (WEA/1997)
BONGOBOP — The Essence All Stars (Hip Bop Essence/1997)
ONE FOOT IN THE BLUES — Johnny Adams (Rounder/1996)
SOUL SERENADE — Jesse Jones (Contemporary/1996)
THE TRUTH — Turk Mauro (Milestone/1996)
POLKA DOTS AND MOONBEAMS — David “Bubba” Brooks (TCB/1996)
MEAN STREETS BEAT — Eric Allison (Contemporary/1996)
A LOOK WITHIN — Javon Jackson (Blue Note/1996)
ORGANIC GROOVES — Essence All Stars (Hip Bop Essence/1996)
SOUL MATES — Terry Myers (Contemporary/1995)
MATING CALL — The Chartbusters (Prestige/1995)
BOILING POINT — Melton Mustafa Orchestra (Contemporary/1995)
HITTIN’ THE JUG — Turk Mauro (Milestone/1995)
STRUTTIN’ — Ron Holloway (Milestone/1995)
CHARTBUSTERS VOLUME 1 — Chartbusters (NYC/1995)
ROUND THE OUTSIDE — Olaf Kübler (RUM LK/1994)
SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY — Lou Donaldson (Columbia/1994)
PLAY THE RIGHT THING — Lou Donaldson (Milestone/1993)
CARACAS — Lou Donaldson (Milestone/1993)
SECRET AGENT MEN — Secret Agent Men (Akira Tana) (Paddle Wheel/Sons of Sound – 1992)
GOTO — Teruo Goto and the Harlem Art Ensemble (Ninety-One/1992)
NATIVE SON — Gerry Eastman (Williamsburg Music Center/1992)
LIVE JAM — Jazz Funk Masters featuring Lonnie Smith (P-Vine/1992)
COME ON DOWN — Jimmy Ponder (Muse/1990)
LIVE IN NEW YORK — The Harlem Art Ensemble (Explore/1990)
REMEMBERING WES — Richie Hart (Compose/1988-89)
BACK TO BECK — Joe Beck (DMP/1988)
TO REACH A DREAM — Jimmy Ponder (Muse/1988)
IN A JAZZ TRADITION — Eric Gale (EmArcy/1987)
LIVE AT THE BLUE NOTE — Ronnie Cuber (ProJazz/1985)
STATE OF THE ART — Jimmy McGriff (Milestone/1985)
LABOR OF LOVE — Dave Hubbard (Sybarite Music/1985)
SO MANY STARS — Jimmy Ponder (Milestone/1984)
IN THE BLACK — Monty Guy (Evertone/1984)
LIVE IN MONTREUX 1980 — Marvin Gaye (Eagle/1980)
B. BAKER CHOCOLATE CO. — B. Baker Chocolate Co. (LRC/1979)
BENSON BURNER — George Benson (Columbia/Issued 1976)
RISING SUN — Teruo Nakamura (Polydor/1976)
Lou Donaldson — (unissued/1975)
PRETTY THINGS — Lou Donaldson (Blue Note/1970)
EVERYTHING I PLAY IS FUNKY — Lou Donaldson (Blue Note/1970)
MIDNIGHT CREEPER — Lou Donaldson (Blue Note/1968)
MR. SHING-A-LING — Lou Donaldson (Blue Note/1967)
ALLIGATOR BOOGALOO — Lou Donaldson (Blue Note/1967)
THE GEORGE BENSON COOKBOOK — George Benson Quartet (Columbia/1966-67)
IT’S UPTOWN — George Benson Quartet (Columbia/1966)
RED SOUL — Red Holloway (Prestige/1965)

Dr. Lonnie Smith Octet — In the Beginning Volumes 1 & 2 (2013)



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Tais Awards & Harvest Prize
Strachovská 520, Pelhřimov, CZE