Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio
Dr. Lonnie Smith is a jazz Hammond B3 organist and pianist, who rose to fame in the mid-’60s, the Hammond hero earned recognition for his membership in George Benson’s classic quartet.
After that, he went on to play with Lou Donaldson and contributed some memorable solos to the alto saxman’s hit 1967 album “Alligator Bogaloo” as well as enjoyable dates of his own for Blue Note.
For all their accessibility and commercial appeal, funk-influenced Smith sessions like 1968′s “Think” and 1970′s “Drives” showed that he could be quite imaginative. Smith, who later became Dr. Lonnie Smith (for “no particular reason,” the same reason he gives for why he always wears a turban), remained an inspired representative of soul-jazz and did some solid work with Donaldson in the ’90s.
The 21st century saw him step up the pace, releasing several albums, including 2003′s “Boogaloo to Beck”; an album of reworked and modernized jazz standards, 2006′s “Jungle Soul”; and 2009′s Rise Up! Smith and his trio members — Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar; Jamire Williams, drums — continued a relentless and tireless touring and recording schedule.
In 2010, he issued “Spiral” with Matt Balitsaris producing.
Smith has performed at several prominent jazz festivals with artists including Grover Washington, Jr., Ron Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Lou Donaldson and Ron Holloway.
He has also played with musicians outside of jazz, such as Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Etta James, Joan Cartwright, and Esther Phillips