Dr. Lonnie Smith: In the Beginning, Volumes 1 & 2
Dr. Lonnie Smith, one of the undisputed pioneers of the Hammond B3 organ in jazz, boasts a career that stretches back to the mid-‘60s, when he served alongside George Benson and then recorded prolifically for Blue Note and other labels. Although his early albums are some of the most revered in the genre, Smith never cared to repeat himself. Here, on this live double-CD set, he finally does revisit his early catalog, working with an octet that enhances the turbaned virtuoso’s R&B/funk predilections. Rather than feel retro, tunes such as “Turning Point” and “Keep Talkin’” are revitalized, and it’s easy to see why contemporary practitioners of the genre, such as Joey DeFrancesco and Larry Goldings, looked to Smith for inspiration.