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Rise Up! by Dr. Lonnie Smith

The Doctor is mos def in one of jazz’s all-time Hammond organ champions, Dr. Lonnie Smith, returns with his fifth platter since the new millennium. Dr. Smith’s been at it since the mid-1960’s, first with the combos of George Benson and Lou Donaldson before going solo. Rise Up displays his mojo intact and working overtime. His sound is still supple, soulfully, sumptuously thick, and BBQ-sauce tasty. Doc Smith isn’t merely re-heating the same old recipes either Rise is an inspired mix of originals and thoughtful cover choices. "A Matterapat" is a percolating cooker slightly reminiscent of Eddie Harris’ classic "Listen Here." Sax-guy in residence this time is N’awlins alto wiz Donald Harrison, imparting scorched-earth with his tart, mercurial style. The Beatles’ "Come Together" gets reinvented with a churning, twist-y danceable groove and a distinctive rats-digging-beneath-the-floorboards vocal from the Doc himself. The highlights are the lengthy workouts on the Stylistics’ "People Make The World Go ‘Round" and Eurythmics’ "Sweet Dreams" the Doc & crew don’t just use them as springboards for soloing, they caress their melodies while taking the songs to new heights. Guitarist Peter Bernstein plays not only with flair but with some welcome grit and drummer Herlin Riley nonstop snaps ‘n’ pops throughout. A 5.5 star winner!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dr. Lonnie Smith
  • CD Title: Rise Up!
  • Genre: Soul / Funk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Palmetto
  • Tracks: A Matterapat, Come Together, Pilgrimage, Dapper Dan, And The World Weeps, People Make The World Go Round, Tyrone, Sweet Dreams, Voodoo Doll
  • Musicians: Dr. Lonnie Smith (Hammond organ, vocals), Peter Bernstein (guitar), Donald Harrison (alto saxophone), Herlin Riley (drums), James Shipp (percussion). Matt Balitsaris (additional guitars); Jo Lawry (additional vocals); Doc, Jo Lawry, James Shipp, Pat Rustici, Natasha Zaikina (handclap choir)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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