|Lonnie Liston Smith at the Hideaway in 2012
Photo Credit: Roger Thomas
Roger Thomas previews Lonnie Liston Smith – Jazz Café, Camden, Saturday 24th August 2013.
I bought Expansions as a teenager, it had been featured at the old Thursday night disco upstairs at Ronnie’s (others might also recognise it from the Grand Theft Auto games ). It was catchy, danceable but the lyrics had more to them with their universal message of peace and love:
”Expand your mind to understand
we all must live in peace to earth
extend your hand to help the plan
of love to all mankind on earth”
I remember it was closely becoming an anthem. Some of the sentiments could now be seen as cheesy or clichéd but back then it was clearly heartfelt and genuine.
The Ronnie’s Disco was also a perfect place for to hear it. This was Liston Smith’s first album since leaving the Miles Davis band in 1974 and was a synthesis of jazz, soul, funk, and disco with a signature bass line supported by pounding repetitive rhythms, synthesised strings, and soaring vocals juxtaposed by cool flute and Rhodes solos.
His fame dissipated slightly during the mid to late eighties but I’m thrilled that he’s made a comeback and is playing at the Jazz Café Camden on Saturday night.