Lonnie Smith – Think! with Lee Morgan & David Newman (1969)

Lonnie Smith
Think!
Original release 1969 Blue Note
This 2019 reissue, Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series

This week the world of music lost one of the greats of the jazz organ, “Dr.” Lonnie Smith.  I regret never having caught him live during his return to the spotlight, as he had quite the career.  He was part of a second (or third?) wave of soul-jazz organists that hit the scene in the latter half of the 1960s. And the line-up on this 1969 album is heavenly: David ‘Fathead’ Newman on reeds, the great Lee Morgan on trumpet, timbales by Harry Brown (of Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers),  and Melvin Sparks on the guitar.  And let me take a moment to acknowledge the under-recognized Marion Booker Jr. on the drum kit – he also played with soul-jazz godfather Jimmy McGriff, on the “off label” pre-experienced Hendrix sessions with Curtis Knight, and also with George Benson, a frequent collaborator with Lonnie.

The repertoire here seems carefully considered: each side opens up with a cover tune,  Side A opening with the Hugh Masekela song ‘Son of Ice Bag’ and B opening with Aretha’s ‘Think’.  Dr.Smith also manages to make Three Blind Mice pretty funky, and squeezes in two original compositions.  And although one of them is titled “Slouchin’ “, Smith was no slouch when it came to his compositions either, they are positively bumpin’.   Enjoy this one, and at some point I might post the live album from Detroit’s Club Mozambique, recorded shortly after this but that went unreleased until the 1990s’.

A1 Son Of Ice Bag 11:08
A2 The Call Of The Wild 12:22
B1 Think 4:43
B2 Three Blind Mice 6:24
B3 Slouchin’ 6:45

Drums – Marion Booker Jr.
Guitar – Melvin Sparks
Organ – Lonnie Smith
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – David Newman
Timbales – Henry (Pucho) Brown
Trumpet – Lee Morgan
Congas – Norberto Apellaniz, Willie Bivins

Record Company – Blue Note Records
Published By – Cherio Music
Published By – Roosevelt Music
Published By – 14th Hour Music
Mastered at; Lacquer Cut at – Cohearent Audio by Kevin Gray
Pressed By – Optimal Media GmbH – BJ64710
Liner Notes – Rhett Evers

Producer, Photography By – Francis Wolff
Reissue Producer – Joe Harley
Design – Forlenza Venosa Associates

LINEAGE: 2019 Blue Note BST 84290 vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica Signet TK7E cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest Black Mamba and Pangea Premier interconnect cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; clicks and pops removed manually with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

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