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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
    George Cotsirilos
    09 Feb
    Steve Dalachinsky
    13 Apr
    Nick Finzer
    20 Apr
    Ed Klitsch
    05 Jan
    Andy Stein
    30 Mar