Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes

Voodoo Woman

Lonnie Liston Smith - Expansions (Flying Dutchman Records BDL 1 0934) 1975

Expansions; Desert Nights; Summer Days; Voodoo Woman; Peace; Shadows; My Love.

Produced by: Bob Thiele & L L Smith

So good they names a record company after it! that is, Expansions UK. The track I've pulled from this funky jazz album from 1975 is not the well known title track but the more stepper number Voodoo Woman. Written by Smith and Michael Carvin the clavinet & percussionist with the band. It's just and instrumental number but with lots going on to keep you're ears happy at all times. I uploaded the gate fold sleeve as the artwork by Jack Martin is most of his albums continues on the back. Don't confuse Smith with Lonnie Smith as he is another fine jazz player that wears a turban!

Smith of course plays electric piano if you hadn't already guested. Flying Dutchman records put out six albums on Smith, also big on this label was Gil Scott Heron, we'll come to him later. The stand out sound of Smith is led by drummer Art Gore who came out of Berklee School Of Music in Boston and had worked with George Benson.

The writer Calvin is really a drummer but Smith persuaded him to do the percussion and I think it payed off because his work makes the tracks especially Expansions stand out. Who would have though a triangle introduction to the classic tune would have worked. That was the only instrument I could get to play in my infant school music lessons I remember, the bullies got all the expensive instruments.

Smith came from a musical family, his father was in the Harmonizing Four and at school he learned the piano, tuba & trumpet. He worked in the house band at the Baltimore Theater backing acts like the Supremes. Playing keyboards he toured with Art Blakey (66-67), Joe Williams (67-68), Pharaoh Saunders/Leon Thomas (69-71), then Gato Barbieri and Miles Davis and then formed his own band The Cosmic Echoes.

Discography (albums)

Flying Dutchman:
  • Cosmic Funk (1975)
  • Astro Traveling (1975)
  • Expansions (1975)
  • Visions Of A New World (1976)
  • Reflections Of A Goldern Dream (1976)
  • Renaissance (1977)
  • Loveland (1978)
  • Exotic Mysteries (1978)
  • Song For My Children (1979)
  • Love Is The Answer (1980)
  • Say You Love Me Other End (1984)
  • Silhouettes Dr. Jazz (1984)
  • Dreams Of Tomorrow Dr. Jazz (1985)
  • Rejuvination Dr. Jazz (1985)
  • Make Someone Happy Dr. Jazz (1986)
  • Love Godess Startrak (1987)


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