Desert Island Jazz
Lonnie Liston Smith (2012)

Visit Website

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
Paul Anastasio
25 Sep
Macy Blackman
19 Jun
George Cole
21 Aug
Alex Condé
06 Mar
Kit Eakle
04 Sep
Phillip Greenlief
13 Feb
Noah Griffin
06 Nov
Tammy Hall
27 Feb
Alan Hall
22 May
Christian Howes
27 Mar
Kymberly Jackson
03 Apr
Julie Kelly
20 Feb
Maya Kronfeld and Valerie Troutt
29 May
Jennifer Lee
17 Apr
Steven Lugerner
24 Jul
Steve McQuarry
05 Jun
Jacqui Naylor
13 Nov
Dave Newhouse
14 Aug
Zack Rogow
24 Apr
Holli Ross
17 Jul
Ellen Seeling
02 Oct
Richard Seidel
09 Oct
Edward Simon
31 Jul
Tessa Souter
23 Oct
Steve Turré
07 Aug
Donna Viscuso
20 Nov
Patrick Wolff
16 Jan