Lonnie Liston Smith and The Cosmic Echoes – Cosmic Funk (1974)

Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes
“Cosmic Funk”
Released 1974

Flying Dutchman Records (BDL 1-0591)
1 Cosmic Funk Smith 5:39
2 Footprints Shorter 6:11
3 Beautiful Woman Smith 6:58
4 Sais (Egypt) Mtume 8:16
5 Peaceful Ones Smith 5:03
6 Naima Coltrane 4:01Produced by Bob Thiele
Engineered by Bob SimpsonElectric bass – Al Anderson
Congas, Percussion – Lawrence Killian
Drums – Art Gore
Percussion – Andrew Cyrille , Doug Hammond , Ron Bridgewater
Acoustic and electric pianos, percussion – Lonnie Liston Smith
Soprano saxaphone, Flute, Percussion – George Barron
Vocals, Piano, Flute – Donald Smith

You will have to escuse me if I don’t give this album the presentation and descrption it really deserves. I have wanted to post about here for a long, long time. But for anyone else who is celebrating Christmas alone, as I currently am, I feel an urgent impulse to put this album out there. While all of Lonnie Liston Smith’s records with the Cosmic Echoes may have carried more or less the same variations of messages about peace and love, nothing comes close to the eruption of the first cut off this one that gave the album its name, which introduces Lonnie’s brother Donald Smith on vocals


followed by a long hair-raising scream to let you know he really means this.

This song is one of the heaviest slabs of spiritual/soul jazz funkiness out there. The track, along with much of the rest of the album, combines creative use of electronics in some seriously psychedelic flourishes along with free and post-bop jazz explorations. While his next album, “Expansions”, may get the lion’s share of attention for this former Pharoah Sanders sideman, I find this album to be every bit its equal and in fact I seem to come back to it more often. Beyond the first cut, the rest of the album is a real treat too, with first-rate original compositions along inspired readings of Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” and, unafraid of taking the risk, a vocal version of Coltrane’s “Naima.”


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  1. Thanks for this post…
    World Peace indeed!
    (yes this archive is protected with a password. Your usual password).
    All the best

  2. I would love to share this but appear to need a password please?

    Jazz Obsessive

  3. password:

  4. Nice one. It's been a while, but my jam was always "Beautiful Woman." I was never much for Donald's vocals, though — those magical rhodes odysseys on side B are really what make this really special for me, though. Happy New Year! Thanks for all the great music!

  5. As Nick earlier said, it's those layers of tinkling rhodes that grab you. Sais builds up nicely, Naima is golden. Naima's arrangement is smartly done, keeping the melody, tempo and bass line mostly intact and thus not allowing the listener get too distracted the additional sounds.

  6. Wow, thanks for the share. This is a great album. I haven't heard "Sais" since I was kid, and I had really forgotten all about it. It's good to have it back 🙂 Plus I just bought "Expansions" a few days ago; lots of memories…

  7. Cheers for this… very nice!

  8. Wow man… good as sex. Your blog is delicious.

  9. I listened to this album early this morning, and discovered your blog this afternoon. Really appreciate that you provide FLAC as I prefer lossless, and thanks for the wonderful and diverse music and your related thoughts.

  10. Hello – wonderful blog

    The links to the Lonnie Liston Smith (Cosmic Funk) seem broken – can they be fixed please?



  11. Hi Alexis, thanks for letting me know. I'll see what I can do

  12. I’ve spent the last few evenings wandering through this blog and it’s been an eye opener. Some things I’ve downloaded, some I haven’t. Some things I’ve read, some I haven’t. Either way, I am very grateful for the time you’ve given (and for your choice of file host too!).

    I am loving the description of this record. I realise this post was 7 years ago so it’s kind of ridiculous to even ask, but is there any chance of a re-up of the FLAC?


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