The next release in the Jazz Is Dead series is by one of the most recognisable keyboard players of all time, Lonnie Liston Smith.

Limited Edition trans blue coloured vinyl!

Release date: 28 April 2023
Format: Colour LP
Country: USA
Genre: Jazz

The next release in the Jazz Is Dead series is by one of the most recognisable keyboard players of all time, Lonnie Liston Smith.

Limited Edition trans blue coloured vinyl!


In stock (ready to ship)

In stock

Listen to: Lonnie Liston Smith JID017

4. Gratitude
5. Love Can Be
6. Fête
7. Kaleidoscope
8. What May Come
9. A New Spring

Item Description

Coursing through the cosmic pulse of Jazz-Funk is the inimitable influence of Lonnie Liston Smith. For over five decades, the legendary keyboardist and bandleader has been a driving force in shaping the genre’s sound. Smith made his recording debut as a sideman for heavyweights Miles Davis, Pharoah Sanders, Gato Barbieri and Leon Thomas. He later formed his own ensemble, Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes which delivered an incredible run of classic albums through the 1970s. His music has served as the foundation for immortal hip-hop samples and ecstatic dancefloor revelry. In late February 2020, Smith headlined Jazz Is Dead’s Black History Month series, giving many jazz fans what would be their last taste of live music before the nightmare of COVID-19 that took over in the weeks that followed. Now, he reunites with Jazz Is Dead to deliver Lonnie Liston Smith JID017 – a full-bloom tribute to the multitude of sonic strains that all lead back to the fingertips of the maestro himself.

Album opener “Love Brings Happiness” immediately bursts to life with drums and guitar accompanied by the sultry vocals of frequent Jazz Is Dead collaborator Loren Oden. The track title becomes an inescapable jolt of encouragement and assurance. In contrast, proceeding track “Dawn” slows things down, opening up for keyboard and synth meditations. “Cosmic Changes” sees Oden again serenade listeners, reciting celestial truths about love and happiness, as the guitar and keyboard float in the background. On “Gratitude” Smith and company temper their groove, with Smith switching onto a grand piano as cymbals shimmer and wind chimes fade in and out, gently recalling Smith’s recordings with Pharoah Sanders. Rounding out the trilogy of Oden collaborations, “Love Can Be” slowly ambles through Fender Rhodes, organ, and an unobtrusive groove that takes off the moment Oden enters. On the aptly-titled “Fête”, the band creates the perfect soundtrack for backyard soirees, joyous moments with friends spent lingering over a grill as the sun melts into the horizon.

Sounding as if it could have been taken from one of his classic albums released on the Flying Dutchman label, “Kaleidoscope” encapsulates much of what generations of listeners have come to love about Smith- introspective chords that glisten like sunbeams, opening up space for one to dive deeper or to release, a perfect balance of private energy. Penultimate track “What May Come” takes the concept of private energy further, pivoting into funkier territory as Smith’s Rhodes cruises like a comet making its once-in-a-century appearance, as horns, chimes, and percussion dart in and out of orbit. Closing the album, “A New Spring” is the thematic crescendo, the climax of the last several meditations. Taken as an entire body of work, JID017 is a triumphant celebration of love’s power to heal.

Already beloved by several generations of Jazz, Hip-hop, and Dance music fans, Lonnie Liston Smith still shines as brightly as he did on his most well-known records. In the studio with Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, contemporaries who have enshrined much of Smith’s musical trails, the trio excavate and revisit some of Smith’s most well-known musical motifs and themes, and in the process deliver a reminder of their lasting poignancy.