b. Lonnie Liston Smith, Jr., 28th December, 1940, Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A.
Lonnie Liston Smith, Jr. is an American jazz, soul, and funk musician, who, at times, is confused with organist Dr. Lonnie Smith.
He started out playing straight-ahead acoustic jazz before becoming better known for embracing fusion, crossover, soul and funk with his 1970's band the Cosmic Echoes.
Lonnie was born in Richmond, Virginia, but it was in New York that he started getting a lot of work as a jazz pianist in the 1960's.
Lonnie was greatly influenced by McCoy Tyner.
He played acoustic piano as a sideman for Pharoah Sanders, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Betty Carter and Gato Barbieri but turned to fusion when Miles Davis hired him as an electric keyboardist in the early 1970's.
By 1973, Lonnie was ready to lead a band of his own and formed the Cosmic Echoes with his brother, singer Donald Smith.
astral traveling - 1973 / cosmic funk - 1974 / expansions - 1975 / visions of a new world - 1975
Lonnie made his recording debut as a group leader with 1973's 'Astral Traveling'.
He continued to produce fusion crossed with funk, realised in 1974's 'Cosmic Funk' and 1975's 'Expansions'.
reflections of a golden dream - 1976 / renaissance - 1976 / live! - 1977 / exotic mysteries - 1978
The mellow fusion, crossover, soul and funk that Lonnie played on his Cosmic Echoes dates of the 1970's was highly unique.
loveland - 1978 / song for the children - 1979 / love is the answer - 1980 / dreams of tomorrow - 1983
He switched from RCA to Columbia with 1978's 'Loveland', and the 1980's found Lonnie recording for Doctor Jazz.
silhouettes - 1984 / rejuvenation - 1985
In 1986, Lonnie surprised his followers with 'Make Someone Happy', an excellent acoustic trio date that found him returning to straight-ahead post-bop and interpreting standards.
Unfortunately, the early 1990's weren't great years for Lonnie, who recorded some radio-oriented, formulaic NAC sessions that left much to be desired creatively.
Lonnie returned to a Cosmic Echoes-type sound on 1998's 'Transformation', which reunited him with his brother Donald.
Astral Travelling (Flying Records 1973)
Golden Dreams (Bluebird Records 1973)
Expansions (Flying Records 1974)
Cosmic Funk (Flying Records 1974)
Visions of a New World (Flying Records 1975)
Reflections of a Golden Dream (RCA Records 1976)
Live (RCA Records 1976)
Renaissance (RCA Records 1977)
Loveland (Columbia Records 1978)
Gotcha (TK Records 1978)
Dreams of Tomorrow (Doctor Jazz Records 1979)
A Song for the Children (Columbia Records 1979)
Love Is the Answer (Columbia Records 1980)
Silhouettes (Doctor Jazz Records 1983)
Love Goddess (Startrak Records 1983)
Rejuvenation (Doctor Jazz Records 1985)
Make Someone Happy (Doctor Jazz Records 1989)
Ankhspansion (Jive / Novus Records 1991)
Magic Lady (Startrak Records 1991)
Watercolors (Jive / Novus Records 1991)
Transformation (Ichiban Records 1998)