DC at Night

DC at Night

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio Jazzes It Up

Dr. Lonnie Smith
For me, the Hammond B-3 organ has always been the most magnificent jazz instrument. And in the hands of a master like Down Beat magazine Top Organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, the bulky B-3 and the swirling sounds from its Leslie speaker provide a magical jazz experience for both the veteran and the neophyte live listener.

Smith, joined by guitar virtuoso Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer extraordinaire Jaimire Williams, filled the intimate KC Jazz Club at the Kennedy Center last weekend with modern and more traditional jazz pieces with inspired solos from all 3 instrumentalists.

Most of the 90-minute set came from the Trio's latest CD The Healer. Smith opened with "Backtrack," which is also the 1st song on the CD. He followed with a revamped, uptempo version of his "Mellow Mood." In the middle of the set, the Trio jammed on "Beehive," which features Smith on the synth trading riffs with Kreisberg.  As he always does, Smith also employed scat singing on most of the numbers.

The highlights of the night were a reworked "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things," which jazz legend John Coltrane appropriated from the showtune world and a 10-minute funky jam, which would have done the funkiest soul band proud.

Throughout the set, Smith and Kreisberg engaged in swapping swift licks and intricate solos that prompted outburst after outburst from the sold-out late-night show. The Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio performance was the latest scheduled in the club, which is located on the Terrace level of the Kennedy Center. For a list of upcoming shows, click here.

Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
Jazz is meant to be heard, not to be read about. So, for your listening pleasure here is:

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