Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes – Cosmic Funk
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192 kHz | FLAC | 300 dpi scans | Jazz, Spiritual jazz
2022 Real Gone Music || 1974 Orig. Flying Dutchman
So I actually crafted a new, short write-up of this record without remembering that I posted about it once before, 13 years ago, because of course I did. You can read that screed here, if you like. I will probably blog about this album a third time, when I get around to transferring an original Flying Dutchmen pressing I have. I think this recent reissue holds up quite well against it, sonically speaking, so here we go….
The opening cut definitely jolts you to attention, featuring a vocal performance from Donald Smith (Lonnie’s brother) that may be the spiritual jazz equivalent of primal scream therapy. The song structure is pretty conventional and that vocal is probably the most “out” thing on the record. Which has lots of Fender Rhodes through an Echoplex or maybe a Roland Space Echo, which would have been a brand-new, state-of-the-art device at the time. A driving version of Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints.” And a version of “Naima” with lyrics and vocals by Lonnie – which may be sacrilege for some folks, but I like where The Cosmic Echoes are coming from, and it makes no pretense to equally the original. There is also a tune penned by Mtume here. I saw a random commentator online saying that the vocals on this album were just not his thing, turning him off the record. His loss, I think, because ALL the Cosmic Echoes have vocals on some tracks, a kind of trippy jazz crooning that suits the music very well.
I have other Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes to share, so hopefully this will whet some appetites. If you’ve never heard his stuff before, this is not a bad place to start at all. “Expansions” is the one that got me hooked, but it was also the first I’d heard.
LINEAGE: 2022 Real Gone Music RGM-1340; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica Signet TK7E cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Pro-Ject Tube Box S2 preamp; Audioquest Black Mamba and Pangea Premier interconnect cables; RME Babyface Pro interface ; 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.