mon 22/07/2024

Album: Lonnie Liston Smith - JID017 | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Lonnie Liston Smith - JID017

Album: Lonnie Liston Smith - JID017

A musical titan returns with plenty of uplifting grooves

Lonnie Liston Smith: jazz funk vibes and cool and laidback grooves

It’s 25 years since Lonnie Liston Smith last released an album. But this a man who earned his musical stripes with Miles Davis and Pharaoh Sanders, pretty much invented Jazz Funk with the Cosmic Echoes in the 1970s and then helped to reboot hip-hop with Guru and Digable Planets in the 1990s – and so, you pretty much take what you’re given and are thankful for it when dealing with such a musical titan.

JID017, an album produced in collaboration with A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammed and film score composer Adrian Younge for their long-running label Jazz Is Dead, is a smooth mix of jazz funk vibes and cool and laidback grooves. It also a fine platform for an elder statesman of modern music working magic with a pair of sympathetic contemporary collaborators. From the What’s Goin’ On powered by extra afro-jazz of “Love Brings Happiness” to the uplifting and sunny, psychedelic sounds of “A New Spring”, Liston Smith isn’t going to disappoint anyone here. JID017 is most emphatically not the work of a well-respected veteran phoning it in to some modern, hip producers for a final payday.

Heavily featured throughout are the sultry vocals of Loren Oden, which bring some serious shine to the funky but very chilled “Cosmic Changes”, with its Rotary Connection-like vibe, and the supremely mellow “Love Can Be”, as well as the hip-swinging opener. These tunes are interspersed with instrumentals like the trippy “Kaleidoscope”, weaving its way through an off-kilter groove, the cool “Féte” and “Gratitude”, some hard bop with hectic cymbals that keep things moving along. Nevertheless, these tunes never stray far from Liston Smith’s signature spacey and psychedelic style with messages of peace and tranquillity for all. Make no mistake, while we wait for some decent warm weather, JID017 is more than enough to keep the chills away.

JID017 is most emphatically not the work of a well-respected veteran phoning it in to some modern, hip producers for a final payday

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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