Black Gold Weekly
Cosmic Funk

Lonnie Liston Smith – Cosmic Funk

Another great Smith on the keys: After his apprenticeship years in acoustic jazz combos with Roland Kirk and Art Blakey, among others, pianist Lonnie Liston Smith has found his own signature sound in the combination of classic jazz with funk, R&B, together with free and space-age elements. On the second LP with his group Cosmic Echoes that sounds a bit more rough than on later recordings: The opener ‚Cosmic Funk‘ is raw jazz funk, but there are also quieter tracks where Mr. Smith’s typically sparkling Fender Rhodes lines are well fleshed out.

Particularly noteworthy are the two drummers/percussionists Andrew Cyrille and Doug Hammond, also to be discovered in free jazz, who contribute groovy and exciting rhythm textures, as well as Mr. Smith’s younger brother Donald, also a pianist, who convinces here in particular with his clear, forceful voice – on the Lonnie Liston Smith composition ‚Beautiful Woman‘ as well as on the John Coltrane piece ‚Naima‘, which until then I had only known instrumentally. Wonderful record that reflects all the versatility in jazz and curiosity for surrounding musical areas in the early 70s.


Stefan Mohr

Stefan Mohr

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