Lonnie Liston Smith
Combining the romantic stylings of Barry White and the psychedelic tendancies of Jimi Hendrix, Lonnie Liston Smith's lush keyboard playing is ideal for an evening of hash-fuelled sexual discovery. He started his career in the 1960s, playing jazz piano alongside such luminaries as Pharoah Sanders and Rashaan Roland Kirk before going solo in the early 1970s. Supported by his exceptional backing band the Cosmic Echos, his distinct style consists of trippy, multi-dimensional fusion overflowing with exotic percussion, breezy flutes, and blissful melodies. The group played songs mostly about love, peace, and space traveling, though they also had many lengthy instrumental jams. Lonnie and company recorded a dozen LPs during the seventies, some of them on boutique labels such as Doctor Jazz and Flying Dutchman. He continued to record as a solo artist throughout the '80s and '90s, and found new fans who discovered him through rap samples. Popular amongst hip-hop producers thanks to his use of extended instrumental grooves, he was also featured on Guru's 1993 fusion project Jazzmatazz Vol. 1. Hugely influential, Lonnie Liston Smith is a master musician with devoted fans around the world. His most recent album Transformation was released in 1998.