Desert Island Jazz
Lonnie Liston Smith (2012)

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Pianist and Cosmic Music Traveler Lonnie Liston Smith was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. His father was in the Gospel group the Harmonizing Four, and Lonnie remembers many in that tight musical community coming by the house, including the Soul Stirrers, then featuring a young Sam Cooke.

Lonnie learned piano, tuba and trumpet in high school, and graduated in music from Morgan State University in Baltimore. But even before he graduation, he was gaining some notoriety around Baltimore as a singer and pianist, playing with the likes of Gary Bartz and Grachan Moncur III.

In 1963 Lonnie moved to New York City, where he attended the universities of Betty Carter and Art Blakey, and did several recordings with Roland Kirk. Later he recorded with Pharoah Sanders, Gato Barbieri, and Miles Davis—not bad company—and, as a leader himself, with Cosmic Echoes

Decades later, those recording came to the attention of modern samplers, who like to get slices of "Space Princess" or "Night Flower". In fact, in 1993, Lonnie teamed rapper Guru for a ground-breaking album called "Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1"

Lonnie hadn't recorded much of late, instead spending time touring and doing workshops, but all that changed with the three-keyboard "Soulful Night of Keys" at Yoshi's San Francisco in November 2013 (which was when he took time to visit the desert island).
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Charlie Parker Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes Just Friends Verve
# 2 Count Basie April in Paris April in Paris Verve
# 3 John Coltrane Coltrane Out of This World Impulse
# 4 John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman Autumn Serenade Impulse
# 5 Miles Davis 'Round Midnight All of Me Columbia
# 6 Betty Carter Compact Jazz Tight Verve
# 7 Pharoah Sanders The Impulse Story Astral Traveling Impulse
# 8 Shirley Horn You Won't Forget Me You Won't Forget Me Verve
Book Hazrat Inayat Khan, "The Mysticism of Sound and Music"
Luxury Item "A keyboard, right by the water, hearing the waves crashing, and then see what kind of music would develop"
Castaways by date
Melissa Aldana
11 Mar
Ron E. Beck
29 Apr
Pascal Bokar
07 Oct
Shanna Carlson
18 Mar
Sara Caswell
25 Mar
Carlos D'l Puerto
22 Jul
Kellye Gray
15 Jul
David Hart
04 Nov
Ellen Johnson
17 Jun
Steffen Kuehn
02 Dec
Paul McCandless
08 Jul
Allison Miller
15 Apr
Melissa Morgan
29 Jul
Linda Oh
05 Aug
Dafnis Prieto
24 Jun
Jim Pugh
30 Sep
Fred Randolph
05 Feb
Harvie S
03 Jun
Jake Shapiro
10 Jun
Marcus Shelby
15 Jan
Bria Skonberg
04 Mar
Mark Soskin
20 May
Leslie Stoval
19 Aug
John Stowell
08 Apr
Toots Thielemans
02 Sep
Roseanna Vitro
26 Feb
Paul VornHagen
14 Oct
Don Was
12 Aug
Danielle Wertz
27 May
Howard Wiley
28 Oct