This came across the Flea Market Funk plate recently, and it was too good not to pass on. The good people from Past Daily were kind enough to put this up and we figured we would share it. In 1973, Lonnie Liston Smith formed The Cosmic Echoes which featured Cecil McBee on bass, George Barron (soprano and tenor sax), Joe Beck (guitar), David Lee, Jr. (drums), James Mtume (percussion), Sonny Morgan (percussion), Badal Roy (tabla drums), and Geeta Vashi (tamboura), and of course Lonnie Liston Smith on they keys. He was taking his experience with Pharoah Sanders and Miles Davis and moving beyond the realm of what the public called “normal” music. Moving through Free Jazz and cosmic jams, his time on the Flying Dutchman label really solidified the man as a Jazz pioneer and the forefather of Acid Jazz. This particular session, which clocks in just under thirty minutes features Liston Smith on keys, Stan Clarke on bass, James Mtume on African Percussion, Norman Connors on percussion, Charles Sullivan on trumpet and George Barron on sax. This set is just before the band got together and includes a few members plus a couple heavy Jazz hitters.
“The main thing is trying to play some music that will enhance humanity really, that will expand the consciousness of all humanity and try to make this planet a much better place for even human beings, we are here for a purpose and we must always try to search for truth as much as possible.”
While this set has no direction, it’s a beautiful free flowing Jazz set, which includes his own version of “Astral Traveling” “Let Us Go Into The House of the Lord” and “Rejuvenation” as well as a short interview. In the music, he’s searching for truth, and while doing that he says “the music will expand”, which it does. If you are a fan of Jazz Funk, Free Jazz, Soul Jazz, or Spiritual music, Lonnie Liston Smith is a pioneer of all the genres. This set is him searching for a sound. The sound will find him as the truth is discovered. Deep stuff. We’re happy to be able to pass this along to you today, as it’s right up our alley, and we hope it’s right up yours as well. Many thanks to Past Daily for throwing this gem up, it’s a keeper.
Stream this live recorded at The Jazz Set in 1973 here.