Friday, June 29, 2012

Lonnie Liston Smith - Expansions

Throughout the late sixties and seventies, pianist Lonnie Liston Smith contributed to a number of classic spiritual and funky jazz recordings. During this time period he recorded with many notable jazz greats including Pharaoh Sanders, Gato Barbiera, Leon Thomas, Stanley Turrentine, Sonny Simmons and many others. He also wrote and recorded music with his own led group called The Cosmic Echoes, which led to the release of a number of amazing albums including Astral Traveling, Cosmic Funk, Visions Of A New World, as well as the much sought after classic Expansions. This record, which was released in 1975 on Flying Dutchman records, is most notable for the album's title track which originally became not only a favorite among jazz enthusiasts, but a heavily played selection among Manhattan's many active disco deejays during the seventies including The Loft's David Mancuso and The Gallery's Nicky Siano. The crossover gem maintains a funky groove throughout the song's duration held down by Smith on electric piano, bassist Cecil McBee, drummer Art Gore and a number of percussionists on congas and bongos. Lonnie's younger brother Donald Smith contributes the track's soulful lead vocals and hypnotic flute solo. Overall, a cosmic jazz classic and one of a select handful that successfully bridged the gap between jazz music and the underground dancefloor during the mid-seventies.

Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes - Expansions

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