Dr. Lonnie Smith: Son of Ice Bag


Son of Ice Bag



Think! (Blue Note 63843)

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Dr. Lonnie Smith (organ), Lee Morgan (trumpet), David 'Fathead' Newman (tenor sax), Melvin Sparks (guitar), Marion Booker (drums).

Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, July 23, 1968


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Having been steady organist in the bands of both Lou Donaldson and George Benson for almost three years, Lonnie Smith had plenty of experience before cutting his first Blue Note album as leader in 1968. Add the meaty frontline of Lee Morgan and “Fathead” Newman, and you get a rare groove that is not only funky but much more daring than your average soul-jazz session. The group sounds well rehearsed, and the arrangement is tight, yet there is an openness that gives the soloists the freedom to develop their solos modally and not simply string together regurgitated blues licks. Smith and company generate some highly creative, thoughtful improvisations that will encourage close listening. This is high-quality late-'60s jazz—straight, no chaser. It just happens to also be a hard groovin’ boogaloo.

Reviewer: Matt Leskovic

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