Dr. Lonnie Smith. i

Dr. Lonnie Smith. Benedict Smith/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Benedict Smith/Courtesy of the artist
Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Benedict Smith/Courtesy of the artist

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio On JazzSet

Hammond B3 organ master Dr. Lonnie Smith recently led his trio through a soulful set before a sold-out house at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club in Washington, D.C. The good doctor turns 70 this year, and he's still a leader and innovator on his instrument. He's also gaining a whole new audience, as young musicians and producers sample his deep, relentless grooves.

His guitarist, Jonathan Kreisberg, says that while Smith has recorded some fine studio albums over the years, his music really needs to be heard live to get the full experience. The full array of his artistry is on display throughout this set, which features several tunes off his new album, The Healer, including a mellow version of "Mellow Mood" — written by another organ legend, Jimmy Smith. Dr. Lonnie Smith shows his playful side with a cinematic suite that begins with Harold Mabern's "Beehive" (Smith plays the distinctive Miles Davis-ish "trumpet" lines on one of his many effects pedals), which segues into a surging version of "My Favorite Things." The set closes with "Play It Back," one of the funkiest tunes off Smith's epic album, Live at Club Mozambique, and "Pilgrimage" — the kind of slow, powerful groove that is as much his trademark as are his turban and long white beard.

It's been a long and amazing trip for Dr. Lonnie Smith since the Buffalo, N.Y., native first won Best Organist honors from Downbeat magazine in 1969. This coming May, he plays the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Blue Note label's 75th anniversary concert at the Kennedy Center.

Set List
  • "Mellow Mood" (Jimmy Smith)
  • "When Lights Are Low" (Benny Carter)
  • "Beehive" (Harold Mabern)
  • "My Favorite Things" (Rogers & Hammerstein)
  • "Frame For The Blues" (Slide Hampton)
  • "Play It Back" (Dr. Lonnie Smith)
  • "Pilgrimage" (Dr. Lonnie Smith)
Personnel
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith, Hammond B3 organ
  • Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar
  • Jamire Williams, drums
Credits

Scriptwriter and producer: Mark Schramm; Recording engineer and Surround Sound mixer: Duke Markos; Special thanks to Kevin Struthers, Jean Thill and Greg Hartman of Kennedy Center Jazz.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Monty Alexander. Crush Boone/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Crush Boone/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Monty Alexander On Piano Jazz

The Jamaican-born pianist, known for his rhythmic approach, joined Marian McPartland in 1991.

Monty Alexander In The Studio

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/482469803/482492744" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Brandee Younger and Edmar Castañeda. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artists

Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

Return Of The Jazz Harp

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Brandee Younger and Edmar Castañeda are bringing the ancient instrument back to the music.

Return Of The Jazz Harp

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/482494560/482495987" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Alan Clare. Allan Warren/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

toggle caption Allan Warren/Wikimedia Commons

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Alan Clare On Piano Jazz

In 1990, the British pianist joined host Marian McPartland from the BBC's London studios.

Alan Clare On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/480295874/480633264" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Dena DeRose. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Dena DeRose On Piano Jazz

In a 2001 session, the singer and pianist joined host Marian McPartland for a program of standards.

Dena DeRose On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/479740933/479741803" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Michael Ochs Archives/Stringer/Getty Images

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

A Tribute To Artie Shaw On Piano Jazz

Historian and cornetist Dick Sudhalter lends perspective on the great clarinetist and bandleader.

A Tribute To Artie Shaw On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/478858076/478859776" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Tania Maria. Jean-Baptiste Poulain/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Jean-Baptiste Poulain/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Tania Maria On Piano Jazz

The Brazilian pianist and singer mixes frenetic originals with Antônio Carlos Jobim interpretations.

Tania Maria On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/477960098/477961996" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Catherine Russell. Marv Goldschmitt/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Marv Goldschmitt/Courtesy of the artist

Jazz Night In America

Catherine Russell: Sunny Side Of The Street

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The singer assembles a vocal trio to take on a book of music she once sang with her mother.

Catherine Russell: Sunny Side Of The Street

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/477822438/477824662" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jim Ferguson. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Jim Ferguson On Piano Jazz

The singing bassist presents original songs and standards in a session from 2001.

Jim Ferguson On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/477064541/477065827" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top