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  • 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
    Chris Amberger
    23 Jun
    Gerald Beckett
    01 Sep
    Buzz Brooks
    28 Apr
    Jarrett Cherner
    16 Jun
    Kev Choice
    30 Jun
    Anat Cohen
    28 Jul
    Natalie Cressman
    10 Feb
    Hershey Felder
    07 Apr
    Mitchell Feldman
    18 Aug
    Mike Galisatus
    03 Nov
    Aaron Germain
    06 Jan
    Robin Gregory
    17 Feb
    Tamir Hendelman
    13 Oct
    Kasey Knudsen
    17 Mar
    Matthew Montfort
    26 May
    Dan Montgomery
    06 Oct
    Andrea Motis
    21 Jul
    Ray Obiedo
    10 Mar
    Jayn Pettingill
    17 Nov
    John Pizzarelli
    25 Aug
    Sandi Poindexter
    24 Mar
    Don Randi
    20 Oct
    David Rogers
    24 Feb
    Eric Whittington
    29 Sep
    George Winston
    04 Aug
    Lizz Wright
    09 Jun
    Jason Yeager
    02 Jun